Vodacom eSIM Now Available to All
07 February 2024

Nafisa Akabor

Vodacom eSIM Now Available to All

eSIM’s are now available to prepaid and top-up customers. Here’s how they work and also when it’s best to get one.

Vodacom introduced eSIM in 2019, at the time of launch it was available for wearables only. The introduction meant that Vodacom top-up and contract subscribers could extend available voice and data usage onto their wearables.  This meant that one would be able to make a call or receive a call or use data-based services when their primary smartphone was not nearby or off.  To enable the extension to the wearable, all you had to do was/is to subscribe to the OneNumber Service.

Whilst you as a subscriber are enjoying the extension onto the wearable, Vodacom started looking at introducing eSIM for your smartphone.  eSIM for smartphones is available to our business and individual customers, this means that it is available to you regardless of your billing method (i.e. prepaid, top-up and contract customers.   

What is an eSIM?

eSIM is a new technology where device manufacturers have embedded a SIM card-based functionality into smart devices (smartphones, watches and tablets).

With the embedded SIM (eSIM) on the smart device,  the user doesn’t need to worry about inserting a physical SIM card to connect to the network.

Phones that support it at the time of publishing include the iPhone 11 and up; Samsung Galaxy Z Foldables, the Galaxy S20 Series and up; Huawei P40 Series and the Oppo Find N2 Flip.

How do I know if my device is eSIM capable?

To confirm if your smartphone is eSIM capable, you can follow one of the following three steps:

  1. Visit your smartphone manufacturer's website to confirm if your device has eSIM capability or
  2. If you are using an Android-based (including a Huawei) smartphone, navigate to the “SIM manager/ Mobile Networks/SIM cards and mobile networks” options to view which SIM card types are supported by your device.
  3. If you are using an Apple device, simply go to “mobile data” (which is found in the setting.

When using options two and three to confirm your device's eSIM capability, you will see the words “Add eSIM/eSIM”.

How do you get an eSIM?

Vodacom eSIM is available for new activations and for SIM Swap, to get an eSIM you simply visit one of our Vodacom stores where one of our agents will assist you with your eSIM query.

As mentioned above, the eSIM can be used when activating a new number or just doing a SIM Swap, depending on your queries you will be charged as described below (with the charge being paid in-store)

  • New or existing prepaid subscribers will be charged R25 for a new activation or for a SIM Swap.
  • Existing top-up and contract: you will be changed R63 for your SIM Swap (from to an eSIM).
  • New top-up and contract: your cost of the eSIM will be covered by Vodacom, this means your initiation cost will be defined by your contract.

What is the process like?

The eSIM process is easy and takes only a few minutes to complete,

  • Prepaid: your eSIM details will be contained on a till slip that will be handed to you by one of our agents.
  • Top-up and contract: your eSIM details will be emailed to the email address that you provided to Vodacom. When opting for an eSIM, ensure that you have access to your email as it will not be sent to another email address.  

Once you have received your eSIM QR code:

  • Connect your device to a Wi-Fi connection or another mobile data connection (on the device).
  • Scan the QR code from the “add eSIM option/eSIM option” on your device.
  • The device will download your eSIM onto the smartphone.
  • Disconnect your device from the Wi-Fi connection of the other mobile data on your phone, connect directly to the Vodacom network using your eSIM and everything will work.

When activating a new line, ensure that you have completed the Rica process before scanning the eSIM. When doing a SIM swap, ensure that your SIM swap has been completed before scanning the QR code.

When doing a SIM Swap

To confirm the completion of the SIM swap, you can either ask one of our agents to confirm the completion of the SIM swap or you will notice that the network work connection/signal is no longer being displayed on your smartphone.

Once it's been completed, remove the plastic SIM or delete your older eSIM (if you had one) and only scan the QR code at this point.

Why should you consider an eSIM?

If you travel a lot, it could be useful to not remove your primary SIM card unnecessarily or risk losing it. It will also free up the slot when you are abroad to get connected with a local network that has no eSIM offerings.

At the same time, if you have two or more phones that you are using, you now can have both your contact numbers on one device.

How Safe is eSIM when compared to my plastic SIM card?

  • The eSIM is embedded in your phone which means that it can't be removed from the device,
  • When your device is locked, that means access to your eSIM is also locked.
  • When doing a remote clearing of your smartphone (in case it's lost), your eSIM will also be cleared from your device.
  • When swapping onto an eSIM, Vodacom sends you a confirmation code of this you will need to key in when prompted. The reason behind the confirmation is to ensure that the owner of the number has control when their SIM card is being SIM Swapped.

Get An eSIM And A Compatible Smartphone

As previously mentioned, to activate the eSIM, you need to go into a physical Vodacom store to scan the QR code. But before you can do that, you need a phone that is eSIM compatible. These can be found on the online Vodacom shop.


Nafisa Akabor