Vodacom has officially launched support for eSIM devices in South Africa, allowing users with eSIM-enabled devices to connect to the Vodacom network.
The mobile operator announced support for the technology at an event in Vodacom World, Midrand.
An eSIM is an embedded SIM which is built into a device and needs to be enabled by a mobile network to function.
Embedded SIMs are also found in smart wearables from major device manufacturers like Samsung and Apple, allowing them to connect to mobile networks and function with a cellular connection.
Vodacom’s new offering – called OneNumber – will allow customers to use a single mobile number across multiple devices, with the eSIM in the customer’s wearable device linking to this number.
This means that Vodacom customers will be able to make and receive calls, texts, and maintain active data connections on both their smartphone and eSIM-enabled device.
The OneNumber platform also supports the ability to store multiple profiles without the use of a traditional SIM card in a SIM slot.
Users can link the eSIM inside their device to their master number by scanning a special QR code when they purchase the device.
Vodacom previously said it was working to implement eSIM support on its network – and it has now delivered on its promise.
Samsung Galaxy Watch
Vodacom also announced that it has partnered with Samsung to implement eSIM technology locally.
The mobile operator said it would launch an exclusive eSIM-enabled Samsung Galaxy Watch to its customers as part of the move.
This smartwatch uses eSIM technology to deliver LTE connectivity and is compatible with Vodacom’s network, making it the first eSIM-enabled wearable to be activated in the country.
Vodacom said the eSIM-enabled Galaxy Watch 42mm and Galaxy Watch 46mm would be available with OneNumber functionality, priced at R5,999 and R6,299 respectively.
The Galaxy Watch will also be available as an add-on to a Galaxy S10 smartphone contract for an additional R199 per month.
Vodacom said users will be charged a R25 monthly fee for data sharing on the LTE connection across the smartphone and wearable. A R98 once-off connection fee for the service will also be applicable.
While the mobile operator has partnered with Samsung for the launch of its eSIM support, the technology has been implemented for a number of products at launch with more smartphones and wearables expected to be supported in future.