Home Technology South African mobile providers getting ready to roll out eSIMs

South African mobile providers getting ready to roll out eSIMs

1 min read

Much like many facets of technology are moving towards digital platforms, soon will the infamous SIM card will too – even in South Africa. SIM cards were electronic chips introduced during the early days of mobile technology that enabled a device to communicate on a particular service provider’s telecommunications network and since has become the standard link between your device/s and your network provider.

Business Insider has revealed plans from two of South Africa’s biggest network companies, Vodacom and MTN, alongside newcomer Rain to move across to digital eSIMs and eventually doing away with the customary little chip that we have all come to know and lose from time to time.

Like a traditional SIM card, these eSIMS, which are embedded into the devices themselves, will form a token of sorts that provides devices access to a particular network. However, with eSIMs not restricted to the space afforded from a hardware perspective, it will be easier for a device to be on multiple networks at the same time.

According to the report, the companies are all planning to support the new technology in 2020 with Vodacom already support eSIMs in the Samsung Galaxy Watch. The number of devices that can work with eSIMs is currently limited, with only top-end devices like iPhone Xs, iPhone Xr, Samsung Galaxy S9, and Samsung Galaxy S9+ making use of the technology. But with most big cellular companies planning to roll this out more widely, these developments are timely to ensure that our mobile networks remain up to speed with the latest technological trends.

Right now, the big challenge for all of these companies is to ensure their systems are secure and that customers will be able to request eSIMs and still become RICA compliant in an efficient way. Let’s hope bureaucracy won’t scupper our attempts to stay in touch with technological innovation.

Last Updated: July 10, 2019


  1. Yahtzee

    July 10, 2019 at 15:54

    No more risky cutting techniques to make it a micro sim anymore


    • Admiral Chief Umbra

      July 10, 2019 at 15:54

      Today, on LET’S SKIP PAYING FOR A SIM SWAP: “Will he do a good job, or will he totally screw it up?”


      • Yahtzee

        July 10, 2019 at 16:03

        Printing a blueprint stencil and realizing later your printer is not printing 1:1


        • Guz

          July 10, 2019 at 16:13

          O.O…… the face you make when you realize


          • Pariah

            July 10, 2019 at 16:23

            The mouth is definitely not 1:1 with the eyes. Checks out.

  2. HvR

    July 10, 2019 at 16:33

    All the networks have supported embedded SIMs since 2012 with remote provisioned eSIMs being supported from around 2015 (IIRC) for M2M customers. So it isn’t exactly a new thing for the networks so no reason for them to fook it up.


  3. HvR

    July 10, 2019 at 16:33

    10 bonus points for Craig for not using the term electronic SIM cards.


  4. Pofadder

    July 11, 2019 at 13:34

    Hopefully this will make it harder for skelms to do sim swaps.


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