eSIM support from Australian telcos

That’s disappointing, is that for sure? The only reason I’d consider an Xs over my current X is for the eSim so I can have one phone but two numbers, my home and work ones.

Carriers have not announced any support here and the feature will not be available on launch day eSim support will be added in a future software update.

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There were no Australian carriers’ logos on the eSim compatibility slide in the keynote unfortunately. I’m sure support will come in due course though.

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But the big 3 were all there on the LTE Watch side now (Telstra, Optus, Voda) which actually uses eSIM to work, so they are clearly adding the infrastructure - the question is will they choose to let you convert or sign up to a plan with an eSIM for phone. I doubt it personally, as it actually works against them to let you have a local SIM when overseas. (This really annoys me, btw.)

Time for Apple to launch an eSIM only model in Australia down the track which will force them to allow it - then they could release a dual eSIM model. It’s inevitable eventually.


Hope so! Thanks all!

I was thinking about this, and thought that if there was some way you could provide your IMEI to your telco for them to provision in their back-end then you could theoretically provide your iPhone’s eSIM IMEI and they’d be none the wiser.

Upon further investigation, it doesn’t quite work like that; there appears to be some auto-provisioning magic that happens when you pair a cellular Apple Watch to an iPhone, which in Telstra’s case is a prompt that asks you whether you want to sign up for an additional $5/month plan that adds nothing to your plan’s allowances, but consumes them all the same. All seems like a bit of a rort, really.

Anyway, that’s basically how I ended up wondering if I want to tie my Apple Watch to my current mobile number for an extra $5/month this fine Thursday evening.

Anyone else do it and have some experiences to share?

I have this with my watch. Initially signed up when Telstra was offering a free trial, thinking it would be more of a gimmick than anything else. After 12 months use I’d never NOT activate the One Number feature. Well worth $5.

I usually take my phone when I leave the house, but at home it usually sits on a charger. If you are in the yard, the other end of the house, forgot to take it when you go out, put it in your bag etc: with the watch no more missed phone calls. The only drawback, in public i still feel like a bit of nerd talking to my wrist


It’s about time telcos did away with physical SIMS. Virtual SIMs or eSIMS should have been the norm by now. To not be able to connect to any worldwide telco from your computer or mobile device is ridiculous.


Back in the olden days of analog mobile phones there was never a SIM card and I thought that was one of the benefits of going digital, just swap a SIM and away you go. It means phones themselves are no longer tied to a carrier and you could just swap in SIM cards as and when needed. Handy if you travel or if you just want to use a pre-paid SIM for a while.

I suppose most people don’t need the functionality very often (or at all), but it’s a feature I know I have used on more than one occasion.

Same deal with CDMA during its fairly short lifespan here, and having a phone account linked to an ESN was an utter pain in the arse from a repair perspective.
“We decided to swap the board in your phone over. Call your carrier and quote this ESN to get it swapped.
Oh, it’s still showing as in use? Come back in and we’ll swap it again, until we find one that’s been correctly unregistered - oh, sorry, no the carriers won’t tell us whether the ESNs we have here can be used or not”

FYI, Truphone now lets you provision a data-only SIM to your eSIM in your iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. Download the app from the App Store, and sign up for a pre-paid data service in a number of different countries, although it’s not immediately clear which telcos they partner with in each country. They say voice plans are coming soon.

As an aside, I’ve been wondering about whether eSIM provisioning is something that Aussie telcos are even incentivised to do. On some level it’s technically more connections per person for them, but at the same time they would be (potentially) losing out on the sale and associated mobile repayments of selling someone two devices compared to one.

I’m not sure they’ll get much choice in the matter at the end of the day, given that a) it will be something that everyone who currently carries around two devices — one work, one personal — will want, and b) the mobile industry may eventually head in that direction anyway, but undoubtedly we’ll see some feet-dragging similar to how many banks still oppose Apple Pay.

I am not sure of the benefit for me. The reason for a private phone would be freedom to use services, without the management profile on my work phone (eg a lot of iCloud services are prevented). An eSIM wouldn’t fix that limitation I believe.

I don’t quite know how these things can/would work. In the old days it was only about being able to receive calls which meant having a second SIM card slot in your own mobile phone was all that was needed. In todays world calls are only part of the service and access to corporate email/calendar (and maybe even other systems) is probably a higher priority for most (otherwise you could just shove two sims into you’re favourite Android mobile and move on).

Even htough we have gone to Office 365 my workplace has gone so far as locking it down so I can’t use any of the extra licences to install Office on my personal computer as well as locking out OneDrive and Skype to anything other than work devices and even work networks. (Compared to the place before which allowed all the above on any device (although we didn’t use OneDrive for work files officially).

I get the security aspects and concerns, but I’d like to think there is a half way measure that would allow staff some access without having to carry two devices all the time.

It would be helpful for regular overseas travelers like me. At this time I have an iPhone and a Samsung when I’m not in Australia (because swapping the SIM out of my iPhone means I no longer get SMS from my bank and can’t do payments and I don’t get text messages with codes for my credit card).

If I could have Optus or Telstra on the eSim and put in a prepaid SIM for overseas use then that would be great.

Although I’m not sure if iOS has dual SIM management capability? I know Android does…

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This is my use case too - I just returned from overseas and have a Telstra plan that allows calls and SMS’s when overseas as part of my monthly payment. But because I need to use a local SIM whilst I was away, I had to keep swapping the SIMs around. Very annoying!

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FYI - I am downloading iOS 12.1 as I write this, one of the updates included is eSIM support for the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR.

Optus has now gone live with eSIM support.


I hope Telstra pulls their finger out and introduces it.


This technology has been available for 18 months, disappointing that Australian telcos have been slow on the uptake. Equally disappointing that Optus requires both numbers to be PostPaid.

But probably some businesses that will take this up. Not really what many people want though, you may have PostPaid line for the wife, and PrePaid for the girlfriends :joy: #jokes

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I keep this link bookmarked, hopefully Apple add Optus after April 12.