Vodacom today announced support for eSIMs under a service called OneNumber, and that it’ll be offering customers the option to tack a Samsung Galaxy Watch with eSIM-capabilities onto their existing packages. We reached out to the operator for clarity on pricing and who can apply for the service. This is what a Vodacom spokesperson had to say:
Stuff: Can you tell us more about the recurring R25 value-added service (VAS) fee?
Vodacom: This is a monthly fee of R25 which enables multi-ringing as a value-added service as well as stand-alone calling, SMS and data capabilities on the eSIM device regardless of whether the primary handset is nearby.
S: Also, how is data used from the eSIM billed? Can users buy bundles for their eSIM like they can for regular SIMs?
V: As part of Vodacom’s effort to drive down the cost to communicate in South Africa, linked devices will consume data, SMS and voice bundles from the primary account.
S: And lastly, can prepaid customers get eSIMs or only contract users?
At launch, eSIM will only be available to postpaid/contract price plans. Although Hybrid/Flexi/Top Up and Prepaid price plans will not immediately be compatible with eSIM, our technology team is working hard to make this functionality available in the not-too-distant future. That said, we are delighted to have partnered with Samsung to be the first to launch an eSIM enabled wearable in South Africa. It is a priority of ours to make sure we cater for all our customers so we will announce support for all relevant mobile operating systems in due course.
The TL;DR version? You’ll pay R98 once-off for eSIM activation once then R25/month for it thereafter, you need to be a contract customer to apply for one, your usage of the eSIM will be billed to your regular account (and deplete any bundles etc. accordingly), and yes, odds are good you’ll soon be able to buy other non-Samsung eSIM-capable kit from from Vodacom. Welcome to the future, eh?