(Instagram, @mtnza)
(Instagram, @mtnza)
  • Following Vodacom in March, MTN launched eSIM cards in SA on Tuesday. 
  • eSIM cards are built into devices and therefore only need to be activated. 
  • Some devices, like iPhone Xs and Samsung Galaxy S9 already come with e-SIM cards.
  • But both networks are only supporting the 42mm version of the Samsung Galaxy Watch so far.
  • For more stories, go to Business Insider SA.

MTN, South Africa’s second-largest mobile operator, on Tuesday launched eSIM cards in South Africa, which allows users to make phone calls straight from their smartwatches on two of SA's biggest networks.

As long as they use are using the 42mm version of the Samsung Galaxy Watch.

An eSIM card is built into a smartphone or smart device and simply needs to be activated by a mobile network to be operational. Like a traditional SIM card, it allows users access to mobile networks to make calls, surf the internet, or send messages.

A SIM and an eSIM can be used together in one device, making it possible to use one network for voice calls and another for data, much as is the case with dual-SIM phones.

A number of devices - like the iPhone Xs, iPhone Xr, Samsung Galaxy S9, and Samsung Galaxy S9+ – come standard with eSIMs.

Also read: African online giant Jumia, part-owned by MTN, has admitted to fraudulent sales 

But for now MTN will only activate eSIMS on the 42mm version of the Samsung Galaxy Watch, the company's corporate affairs executive Jacqui O’Sullivan said. 

Vodacom launched eSIMs in March this year – also only on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 42mm. 

Vodacom previously told Business Insider South Africa that it aims to launch eSIMs for other devices in the first half of 2020. 

O’Sullivan said the watches are only available to customers purchasing a “two for one” deal with the Samsung Galaxy Note10 or Note10+ on the newly updated MTN Made For Me or Sky Price plans.