Vodafone’s eSIMs won’t be available until 2022. The telco had originally planned to roll out its eSIMs for “mid-2020” but pushed its release date back a year citing Covid-19 as the reason for its delay. Now theBit can confirm that Vodafone will miss its revised promise (to customers) of 2021.

The news means Spark remains the only provider of eSIMs for Kiwis since it entered the market in December 2019 alongside the arrival of the Apple Watch Series 5.

theBit editor David Court wrote in Stuff in 2020 that eSIMs for customers were promised in mid-2020 and said Spark is currently the only carrier to offer the technology, having won the eSIM race back in April last year and e-SIM support for the iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy Watch and Apple Watch in 2019.

Court said that if Vodafone had entered the market in 2020 or 2021 it would have brought healthy competition and choice for consumers because “Spark is squeezing customers a little by charging an extra $12.99+ a month to add eSIM support to smartwatches” and “Customers who want to use their smartwatch’s cellular features are having to pay carriers twice for minutes, texts and data.”

What is an eSIM?

eSIM (‘electronic SIM’) means a SIM is embedded into your mobile device or smartwatch instead of being a separate card that you can swap in and out. A user’s device can have multiple, additional eSIMs that can be coded as needed, opening up enhanced possibilities for what you can do with them. For example, eSIM technology allows a person’s smartwatch to function independently, without requiring pairing to your phone. eSIM also makes possible seamless 5G network access across different geographic locations. Vodafone said delays from originally expected timelines are a result of COVID-19 and project reprioritisation.