Vodafone will introduce eSIMs into its 2020 device and wearable roadmap.

The eSIM (or electronic SIM – a SIM card that's embedded into your mobile device, instead of being a separate card you swap in and out) functionality will be available from mid-2020.

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Tony Baird, Vodafone's technology director, said that the arrival of the fifth generation mobile network is expected to usher in a new wave of dual-SIM devices and wearables over the next few years.

Arrival of 5G expected to usher in new wave of dual-SIM devices and wearables. Photo / 123RF
Arrival of 5G expected to usher in new wave of dual-SIM devices and wearables. Photo / 123RF

"Now that 5G is live in New Zealand, manufacturers are starting to develop the next generation of devices and wearables to leverage the 5G benefits of speed, capacity and lower latency.

"Already we have seen these trends in other markets, with 5G helping drive the transition of wearables and dual-SIM devices from the early adopter to mainstream consumer. We expect to see significant advances in device capabilities as manufacturers embrace 5G over the next 6-12 months.

"We will have eSIM functionality available for our customers on Postpay plans by mid-2020 onwards as more cellular-enabled wearables and dual-SIM devices become available."

Baird said he believed eSIM will be particularly popular with business travellers, people who have a work and personal number, and wearable users.

"Another example where eSIM functionality could be useful is when seamless network access across different geographic locations is needed, in sectors such as fisheries.

"The combination of 5G and eSIM will help deliver smarter machine-to-machine performance, as more sensors will have cellular data, helping to enable greater automation. Smarter sensors also means more data stored in the cloud."

Vodafone is calling for registrations of interest from customers.