Vodacom, MTN and Rain are preparing for e-SIM cards in SA. Here’s how it will work

Business Insider SA
(Rain South Africa)
(Rain South Africa)
  • Vodacom, MTN and Rain will accommodate e-SIM cards in South Africa by next year. 
  • e-SIM 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. 
  • For more stories, go to Business Insider SA.

South Africa’s two largest cellular network providers Vodacom and MTN, and newcomer Rain, plan to accommodate eSIM-cards by 2020.

An eSIM-card is built into a smartphone and 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, and consumers would therefore be able to access different networks on one device. 

A number of devices - like the iPhone Xs, iPhone Xr, Samsung Galaxy S9, and Samsung Galaxy S9+ - already have eSIMs. 

Also read: Data prices could start falling from next month - here's why

Vodacom was the first South African company to accommodate eSIM cards with the Samsung Galaxy Watch, launched in March. 

“[We] are currently targeting the first half of 2020 with eSIM support for other devices,” a Vodacom spokesperson told Business Insider South Africa. 

MTN said it is in consultation with manufacturers to finalise its eSIM service. 

Newcomer Rain said the launch of its eSIM-cards is depended on its ability to launch a RICA online platform where consumers would be able to register their SIM cards without standing in queues. 

Meanwhile, Cell C said most new mobile phones do not yet contain e-SIM cards and it would, therefore, only launch the technology when most devices do. 

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