South Africa’s two largest cellular network providers Vodacom and MTN, and newcomer Rain, plan to accommodate eSIM-cards by 2020.
An eSIM-card is built into a smartphone and needs to be activated by a mobile network to be operational.
Like a traditional SIM-card, it allows users access to mobile networks to make calls, surf the internet or send messages.
A SIM and an eSIM can be used together in one device, and consumers would therefore be able to access different networks on one device.
A number of devices – like the iPhone Xs, iPhone Xr, Samsung Galaxy S9, and Samsung Galaxy S9+ – already have eSIMs.
Vodacom was the first South African company to accommodate eSIM cards with the Samsung Galaxy Watch, launched in March.
“[We] are currently targeting the first half of 2020 with eSIM support for other devices,” a Vodacom spokesperson told Business Insider South Africa.
MTN said it is in consultation with manufacturers to finalise its eSIM service.
Newcomer Rain said the launch of its eSIM-cards is depended on its ability to launch a RICA online platform where consumers would be able to register their SIM cards without standing in queues.
Meanwhile, Cell C said most new mobile phones do not yet contain e-SIM cards and it would, therefore, only launch the technology when most devices do.[source: Business Insider]