eSIM for iPhone is coming soon in South Africa

MTN recently launched support for eSIM technology to its customers, but support will initially only be available for the Samsung Galaxy Watch 42mm.

This smartwatch is only available to customers who purchase a 2-for-1 deal that also includes a Galaxy Note 10 or Note 10+ on a Made for Me or Sky Price plan.

MTN is the second mobile network in South Africa to offer eSIM support after Vodacom launched the technology in March 2019.

However, neither networks offer support for eSIM on iPhone.

Apple’s iPhone Xs, Xs Max, and Xr all support eSIM technology, as well as the entire iPhone 11 lineup.

A long time coming

South African networks have been looking into eSIM technology for years, yet current options are still limited to just two Samsung Galaxy watches.

Vodacom said as far back as October 2017 that it was ready to support eSIM for the Apple Watch Series 3 should the cellular version make its way to South Africa.

Nearly a year later, both MTN and Vodacom said they were still working with device manufacturers such as Apple to support eSIM technology.

Rain also said in May 2019 that it was hoping to launch its eSIM product – which includes eRICA technology – by August, yet it has still not launched eSIM support in South Africa.

Despite the years of research and interest in the technology, none of these networks offers support for eSIM on iPhone yet.

MyBroadband asked MTN, Vodacom, and Rain when they expect to launch support for eSIM technology on iPhone.


MTN told MyBroadband that it will offer support for eSIM for iPhone “soon”.

“Customers will be informed via various communication platforms,” said MTN.

MTN’s current eSIM product costs R29 per month for the subscription, as well as an additional, once-off fee of R116.

MTN Store


Vodacom said that there is no further update on supporting eSIM for Apple products since the previous statement the company sent to MyBroadband in July.

“Vodacom will launch support for eSIM technology when the solution is ready to meet the high quality standards that Vodacom customers expect,” said Vodacom.

The company said in July that it was targeting the first half of 2020 for the launch of eSIM support for the iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, and iPhone Xr smartphones.

The company added that it is continuously building its eSIM portfolio.

“We are excited to announce that we expect to launch the Samsung Watch Active 2 eSIM version within the next month,” said Vodacom.

Vodacom charges a monthly subscription fee of R25 as well as a once-off R98 connection fee for its eSIM services.

Vodacom logo red


Rain CMO Khaya Dlanga told MyBroadband that the company is busy testing an online RICA process that it envisions will make the eSIM journey smoother for its customers.

Rain previously told MyBroadband that this “eRICA” process, along with the launch of eSIM technology, had a target launch date of July/August.

However, Dlanga said that this process is still in a beta phase, which is why eSIM is not yet available for iPhone users who are customers of Rain.

“We expect to launch eSIM for iPhone and iPad soon,” said Dlanga.

Rain logo

Now read: How Rain matches up to Vodacom and MTN

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eSIM for iPhone is coming soon in South Africa