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Vodafone UK Seek to Boost eSIM Mobile Support for Travellers

Tuesday, April 13th, 2021 (10:18 am) - Score 2,856
vodafone uk 2017 mobile sim logo

Mobile network operator Vodafone UK has today announced that they’ve teamed-up with Sim Local to “explore opportunities to collaborate” and drive customer adoption of eSIM technology, particularly across the global travel market.

A traditional SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card contains a chip that authenticates your identity to a mobile operator, usually as soon as you slide one into a new mobile phone or other supporting device (it can also store a basic list of your contacts, but online services have largely superseded that).

By comparison a growing number of new Smartphones and other devices are shipping with eSIM support, which essentially embeds an electronic SIM into your device and that makes it both quicker and easier to switch between carriers via multiple account support. At least that’s the idea, but in practice support can be patchy and thus most of us still rely on physical SIM cards or processes.

Vodafone UK added more support for eSIMs in Smartphones on their Pay Monthly plans last year, but they’re keen to improve this and to see how it could be better harnessed by international travellers. Sim Local have plenty of experience in this field, including with helping operators to adapt to eSIM technology, which explains why they’ve joined forces.

Killian Whelan, CEO of Sim Local, said:

“eSIM technology is revolutionising the mobile industry at a rapid pace and will transform the way people connect to their everyday devices in the coming years, especially whilst travelling. As the travel market rebounds following the devasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will witness accelerated growth for eSIM both in the UK and across the globe.

We are delighted to be working closely with Vodafone UK, to explore the benefits of eSIM to international travellers.”

Sadly, the announcement doesn’t say precisely what Vodafone hopes to do deliver through the new partnership and when, but hopefully we’ll know more by the end of 2021.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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10 Responses
  1. yeehaa says:

    While eSIM’s send the tin foil hat brigade into foaming and frothing at the mouth, I can only welcome it for the amount of discarded SIM cards that will cease to litter our planet.

    1. tech3475 says:

      eSims can have their issues though, for example, I had an issue provisioning my smart watch a few months back (Vodafone).

      eSims have their benefits, but I wouldn’t want to rely on it for my primary sim as is since I move it around every so often.

  2. Dennis M V Tweed says:

    Hang on they still haven’t managed to supply 4g to Wivenhoe Colchester Essex CO7 9PD.
    How much longer will that take
    Also now you have 5g to support.
    I am still on 3g and the service network is very unstable. I have to go to Colchester Essex to get 4g. The only good thing is that my smart phone still works as a telephone if the wind is blowing to the north pole. Pull your fingers out.

    1. JP says:

      What phone do you have?

    2. CarlT says:

      Not sure Vodafone are going to be reading that comment and instantly prioritising that postcode for 4G coverage.

    3. Lewis says:

      As a consumer you have a choice… to not use them and move to a provider that does offer coverage??

      Not only does EE for instance have excellent coverage at that postcode for 4G services but they even have 5G surrounding the roads adjacent. If you’ve already spoken to Vodafone via the correct channels to confirm whether this is an issue locally with the mast then I’d look to make the switch.

    4. Lexx says:

      Looks like you need to use ee

      Unfortunately looks like only 1 or 2 people have used cellmapper up there (and only to drive in and out once with the app open) at least your not more South across the water as its even worse there for all networks

      looks like there is a mast at the water front and edge of town, but o2 haven’t installed a mast in the center of that town (witch they usually do)

      most likely a local has been rejecting o2 to install a curb side pole mast (Vodafone and o2 share same mast and its usually o2 that have 1-2 masts inside the town to cover housed areas)

      but I think bottom half of the country is Vodafone, top Half is o2

  3. Adrian says:

    Given that my phone has an esim when I went into the Vodafone shop when I first got my phone I got first blank stares and then after much debate with their own technical help the answer was “we don’t do that”

    This was in 2019 as other people have said I want to minimise ewaste especially with the chip shortages.

    Anyways gone with Virgin mobile last month as it was cheaper to get broadband with TV and an oomph SIM than just broadband (bonkers) and so saving £30 a month and will look in 18 months what deals there are then.

    1. Lexx says:

      Are they still limiting youtube and Twitch to 3500kbs (install network monitor mini app to monitor real-time speed or try and force watch 1440p or 1080p60 quality option)

      I ended my Contract early (I shouldn’t have really paid the early termination fee as they had a hidden traffic shaping policy in streaming services witch wasn’t disclosured in the package) because anything that was 1080p60 (or 720p60 sometimes) bit rate was to high and Twitch most stream Higher then 3000kbs

  4. MilesT says:


    Virgin website claims that they don’t do that sort of traffic shaping anymore, but would be interesting if you have evidence to contrary and details of how to gather it. Lots of people in my area of North London (Zone2) want to leave virgin due to poor service and would welcome a way to exit without termination fees.

    My local next-door has lots of complaints about virgin and few supporters.

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