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.
Samsung Galaxy Watch
Vodacom also announced it has partnered with Samsung to launch eSIM support in South Africa, with both companies working together to implement the technology locally.
The mobile operator also said it would launch an exclusive eSIM-enabled Samsung Galaxy Watch available to its customers.
This smartwatch uses eSIM technology to deliver LTE connectivity and is now compatible with Vodacom’s cellular network, making it the first eSIM-enabled wearable to be activated in the country.
Vodacom said the eSIM-enabled LTE models of the Galaxy Watch 42mm and Galaxy Watch 46mm would be available in the next few days with OneNumber functionality and will be priced at R5,999 and R6,299 respectively.
The Galaxy Watch wll also be available as an add-on deal to a Galaxy S10 smartphone contract for R199 per month.
Vodacom added that users will also be charged a R25 monthly fee for data sharing to enable LTE connectivity on both the user’s smartphone and wearable simultaneously.
While the mobile operator has partnered with Samsung for the launch of its eSIM support, the technology has been implemented for all compatible products which will also be able to take advantage of this functionality.