Vodafone NZ launches eSIMs

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Vodafone NZ launches eSIMs
Joe Goddard, Vodafone NZ

Vodafone, which will rebrand as One NZ next year, will sell 4G/5G eSIMs from now on, after the telco deprioritised their launch in 2019.

Embedded subscriber identity modules (eSIMs) are built into devices and can be activated by telcos and customers scanning QR codes to set up mobile plans.

They can be used to have two phone numbers per device locally and overseas, and do not require a separate SIM card to be inserted into the phone. 

eSIMs can also be used on smartwatches so that mobile subscribers don't need to bring their phones with them to maintain connectivity when during sports activities for example.

Joe Goddard, Vodafone's director for experience and commercial said the telco was responding to subscriber demand for eSIMs.

“We have listened to overwhelming consumer demand for eSIMs, and with our upcoming transformation to One New Zealand, there’s no better time to meet this need,” the former Spark veteran said.

A limited number of phones and tablets are compatible with Vodafone's eSIMs.

These include:

  • Apple iPhone XR, XS and later models.
  • Apple iPad Pro 11-inch, 12.9-inch 3rd gen, iPad Air 3rd gen, iPad 7th gen, iPad mini 5th gen, and later models.
  • Samsung Galaxy Fold, Z Flip, S20 and later models, but not the FE series.
  • Oppo Find X3 and later models.

Vodafone said a visit to the local store is necessary to perform a SIM swap, for security an privacy reasons with new on-acccount customers being able to opt for eSIMs when they buy select devices.

Prepay customers will be able to swap SIMs soon, but Vodafone did not give a date for when this is possible.

In August this year, competing mobile telco 2degrees released eSIMs, with support for similar devices like Vodafone's offering.

Telco incumbent Spark is also selling eSIMs currently, which can also be used in smartwatches.

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© CRN New Zealand

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