This week three South African network providers, Vodacom, MTN and Rain, have reportedly revealed plans to accommodate eSIM cards in 2020.

This according to Business Insider, with the site noting that all three have slated the new type of SIM card for use in compatible devices next year.

“We are currently targeting the first half of 2020 with eSIM support for other devices,” said an unnamed Vodacom spokesperson.

eSims have been supported locally in some capacity to date, with Vodacom being the first South African network provider to accommodate eSIM cards with the Samsung Galaxy Watch, which was launched earlier this year in March.

As for one of the relatively new networks, Rain says it’s waiting for some regulatory approval to get the ball rolling on its eSIM plans.

“The launch of our eSIM cards depends on our ability to launch a RICA online platform where customers would be able to register their SIM cards without standing in queues,” added the firm.

With Rain also planning to launch a 5G network in collaboration with Huawei in a couple of months time, it should be interesting to see if it wants to support eSIMs on the forthcoming broadband standard.

As for functionality, Business Insider’s sources explain that the SIM and eSIM can be used together in one device and customers would be able to access different networks on the same smartphone. The publication also adds that the eSIMs will be built-in and require activation by whichever network sells the device.

Regarding the former, whether that will indeed be allowed remains to be seen, especially as local service providers have shied away from selling dual SIM devices locally, particularly premium smartphones.

[Source – Business Insider] [Image – CC 0 Pixabay]