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Vodacom ramps up its eSIM support

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 21 Jun 2023

Mobile operator Vodacom says it will now offer eSIM support for smartphones across prepaid, top-up and postpaid contract types.

This comes after it launchedeSIM support for wearables under its OneNumber service in 2019, which allowed customers to link a number of devices to a primary account using the same phone number.

According to Vodacom, this means users with selected eSIM-enabled smartphones will be able to connect to its network.

In SA, other mobile network operators that supporteSIM-enabled handsets include MTN, which initially rolled out the service for the Samsung Galaxy Watch in 2019. The telco later expanded eSIM support capability to selected Samsung and iPhone devices for contract customers.

Telkom and Cell C have also introduced eSIMs for their prepaid customers.

“As technology advances, so too do the needs of our users,” says Rishaad Tayob, consumer business director at Vodacom SA.

“The introduction of eSIM support for smartphones could not have come at a better time as research shows the number of eSIM-enabled smartphones in the market is growing rapidly.”

The eSIM, or embedded SIM,is a small chip used to authenticate a user’s identity with their carrier, as part of a global specification developed by the GSM Association. It is linked to the customer's profile by generating a unique QR code which contains all of the relevant information.

With the introduction of the QR code-based eSIM activation method, Vodacom says customers can connect and use the self-RICA process to activate their new number digitally.

Davide Tacchino, managing executive of terminals at Vodacom SA, comments: “The eSIM solution is key to drive the Vodacom's Green Planet Strategy, as it allows us to continue to connect additional customers to the network, without having to distribute traditional cards, which means no more worries about plastic and paper waste resulting from packaging.”