eSIM in South Africa – Rain Mobile leading the way

Rain recently told MyBroadband that it was running a number of eSIM devices on its mobile network, which were working “exceptionally well”.

This is great news for owners of the iPhone Xs and Xs Max, which feature eSIM technology.

The new iPhones feature dual-SIM functionality, with support for a physical SIM card and the inclusion of an eSIM built into the device.

Apple’s Dual-SIM Dual-Standby system – one physical nano-SIM and one eSIM – lets owners use cellphone numbers and mobile data services from two networks in the same iPhone.

The eSIM, however, needs to be enabled by a mobile network to function as a second SIM.

Rain support

Rain CEO Willem Roos said that their eSIM offering – when it is launched commercially – coupled with their R250 unlimited off-peak data option will provide exceptional value for customers.

The Rain eSIM is currently in the testing phase, and the company hopes to launch the service in the first quarter of 2019.

“Using a low-end contract or pay-as-you-go SIM from one of our competitors for voice and coverage, and the Rain eSIM for data, will result in dramatic savings,” said Roos.

He added that tests have shown the Rain eSIM works well in smartphones, and using the iPhone Xs with a Rain eSIM they achieved download speeds of over 99Mbps, upload speeds of over 11Mbps, and a ping of 59ms.

Vodacom and MTN

The progress in eSIM development comes after RainVodacom, and MTN told MyBroadband in September 2018 they were working with Apple to support the technology in South Africa.

While Rain has made big strides, the same cannot be said for the other networks.

MTN told MyBroadband that it is still working with device manufacturers on supporting eSIM usage and integration effort were progressing. No timelines for the project were in place, however.

Vodacom was unable to provide comment at the time of publication.

MyBroadband previously contacted Cell C and Telkom regarding eSIM support on their networks, but the companies did not reply to questions.

For the moment, this sees Rain – the new kid on the block – leading the big mobile networks in new technological developments.

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eSIM in South Africa – Rain Mobile leading the way