Vodacom has officially launched its eSIM service after the information appeared on its website last week. All customers including, prepaid, postpaid and top-up can now apply for an eSIM. If you are an existing customer with a physical SIM card, you will have to apply for a SIM swap to switch to an eSIM.
Vodacom tells Recharged that a prepaid eSIM is not supported on wearables. But back in 2019, it launched OneNumber for wearables for contract and top-up subscribers, which is still applicable today:
Vodacom now supports an eSIM currently exclusively on Samsung wearables. Will test it on the Galaxy Watch, which is great now that FNB is on Samsung Pay so technically I don’t need a phone or wallet to leave the house anymore! Vodacom OneNumber lets you connect multiple devices. pic.twitter.com/yMgAlBKyve
— Nafisa Akabor (@nafisa1) March 12, 2019
If you are not aware, an eSIM is an embedded SIM that requires hardware support from a phone. Current smartphones in SA that support eSIM are iPhone 11 upwards, Samsung Z Series, Samsung Galaxy S20 upwards, Huawei Mate 40 and P40 upwards and the Oppo Find N2 Flip.
Pricing is available at all Vodacom Stores:
I visited the Vodacom World branch to get a SIM swap done on my prepaid eSIM. You cannot get an eSIM online, only in store. This does not refer to a postpaid/contract eSIM. This is what the process entailed for switching from a prepaid SIM to an eSIM.
PROCESS TO CONVERT A PREPAID VODACOM SIM TO eSIM
STEP 1: Visit a supported branch to request the SIM swap. Confirm the branch offers it before you get there.
STEP 2: A Vodacom consultant will assist you and get your details. There is also a self-RICA process but you can do it in-store. Pay the fee associated with the SIM swap process. I paid R25.
STEP 3: You will be given a printed out slip with a QR Code and instructions on how to activate the eSIM. DO NOT SCAN THE QR CODE YET. Now that the process is activated, wait for an SMS confirmation code for the SIM swap on your existing line. This code is crucial for the SIM swap because it will verify you are indeed requesting it. We all know how bad fraud is with SIM swaps in SA.
STEP 4: Wait until your current smartphone loses signal. I was told it will take place within two hours. We started the process at 10:25 and right on cue, two hours later at 12:25 my phone lost signal.
STEP 5: From an iPhone, go into Mobile Data settings, and tap on “Add eSIM”. Now you scan the QR Code supplied on the slip. Before you do, make sure you have connection to the internet through WiFi or if you have a dual SIM phone, make sure it is using that data line.
STEP 6: Input the code sent via SMS to you, mentioned in Step 3. The activation process will happen within seconds thereafter. If you already have another SIM on your dual SIM phone, you can rename the new SIM so it’s easy to find when you toggle networks.
That’s it, you are now connected via your eSIM on your device. I used an iPhone 14 Pro to set up my eSIM.
A few things to note
- You can install eight or more eSIM profiles onto an iPhone and use two at the same time. I now have two eSIMs active on my phone. My physical SIM slot is empty! (I can buy my iPhones in the US once again, ha!)
- Unlike Telkom, Vodacom currently does not allow you to reuse the QR Code. I will wait for that process when I change handsets; Vodacom tells me they are currently working on the solution for this.
Recharged is an independent site that focuses on technology, electric vehicles, and the digital life by Nafisa Akabor. Drawing from her 16-year tech journalism career, expect news, reviews, how-tos, comparisons, and practical uses of tech that are easy to digest. email@example.com