Wednesday, 13 September 2017 12:16

Telstra and Optus with eSIM on Apple Watch first, Vodafone to follow

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Telstra was first to give details on its eSIM plans, with Optus being the other telco offering LTE Apple Watch Series 3 at launch, and Vodafone later this year.

Telstra has announced calls and texts will be possible from wearables soon, as covered by iTWire colleague Sam Varghese here.

It means your wearable can share the same number you already have on your mobile phone, a very handy way of doing things compared with having two separate SIM cards with two separate phone numbers.

eSIMs are also tiny and non-removable, unlike the Nano SIM used in Huawei’s 4G Watch 2, for example, as covered in iTWire here

eSIMs will also allow smartwatches like the cellular-capable Apple Watch Series 3 to do what Huawei’s 4G-enabled Android Wear Watch 2 announced it would do last week in concert with mCareWatch, a “healthcare solution that offers safety and security to the elderly and disabled, and peace of mind to their carers".

Undoubtedly the same set of capabilities will appear for Apple Watch Series 3 soon, kickstarting even more competition between Apple Watch, Android Wear and eSIM wearable devices that will have the same, a subset or expanded capabilities.

One might think of “Big Brother”, but in the case of the elderly and disabled, this will be incredible technology in all the positive ways described in the article linked above.

As listed in Sam’s article, Telstra notes that you won’t need to take your phone with you when out and about, or worry that you’ve forgotten your phone, because your Apple Watch Series 3 or other eSIM enabled wearable will let you share the same number, receive messages sent to that number, share data and more.

Telstra is calling its system “Telstra One Number”. Hopefully Optus and Vodafone are forthcoming with similar information about their plans, too.

Telstra advises that “Telstra One Number will be made available to Telstra customers on a range of up-coming devices. Initially it will be available to post-paid consumer customers with small business, enterprise and pre- paid customers to follow in the future.”

As a month-to-month, casual, post-paid customer of Telstra, as I wrote about here in iTWire in July 2017, I certainly look forward to getting the Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE and linking it to my existing number, while seeing how it all compares with the Huawei Watch 2 and Android experience.

Optus did talk about eSIMs back on 2 May, 2017, which you can read about here

Gemalto talks about eSIMs here.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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