What will eSIMs, Soft SIMS, The Apple SIM change for you

With the prevalence of numerous different MVNOs existing in the Australian SIM only prepaid market and it seems new providers entering the market every few months, soft SIMS are only going to increase competition further.

There are three steps which you need to take when doing your research to determine if one company is best for your needs compared to another. This is the same process which you should take each time you are looking for a better deal, no matter the prepaid provider.

The three steps which you should follow and this is the same with most companies is below as follows:

1) Evaluate

The first step which you must always follow is to firstly determine your own personal usage needs. There is no point in signing up for a SIM only plan with a large mobile data allowance if you are only an occasional mobile phone user.

Next you need to compare the same price point between both competing companies as you want to make sure that you are comparing apples to apples and not apples to oranges, so to speak.

Comparing two different MVNO providers with the same price points will allow you to determine for yourself which of the two offers the best value for money deal.

One of the best place you can begin your search for comparison information is on the internet. While talking to your friends is a great idea and will give you a few good ideas of what’s available on the market, the best place is to use one of the online comparison websites such as Whatphone.

Once you have selected your preferred MVNO provider, head on over to their official social media accounts and have a look at what others are saying about them. Chances are the reviews will enforce your initial research and allow you to make an informed purchasing decision.

2) Buying

Once you have made your informed choice on which SIM only or prepaid plan is best for your needs, the next step is making a purchasing decision.

You might have found a great deal and a service provider which offers everything you are looking for, but you still need to make sure that they offer convenience when it comes to paying your bill.

Most MVNOs allow you to pay via the internet which is one of the easiest ways to do so monthly. The traditional way of calling up the network provider or even worse, visiting their retail store can be a hassle. Paying you bill online at any time of the day, at your convenience is the best way.

3) Service

Customer service is one of the final factors which you need to look at, just before you make your final buying decision. Now while the vast majority of the Australian MVNOs provide homegrown customer support, you will want to check this out for yourself.

In the event of an emergency, there is nothing worse then finding that you are stuck with a problem and have no real time customer support methods to use.

Always make sure that there is a number provided to call, online chat support, social media, email and as a last resort, good old snail mail.

The eSIM will change every one of these steps

The eSIM or also known as the “Soft SIM” will change every single one of the above steps and make life much easier for all Australian consumers.

With the next generation of smartphones, tablet devices and watches being introduced featuring eSIM technologies, life is going to get a lot easier for everyone that enjoys taking advantage of SIM only deals.

Soft SIM technology will allow users to switch network service providers in real time, from inside their smartphone or other enabled device, all with only a few taps of their fingers.

E-SIMs will allow far more people in Australia to be connected and online, it will allow users to be more mobile and will reduce telesales spamming us all with deals and discounts.

As with all new technologies and changes, the soft SIM will also no doubt change the way in which we interact with our service provides and will no doubt result in the closure of a large number of traditional retail stores.

With the introduction of soft SIM in all next generation smartphones and tablets, no doubt third parties will come out with their own applications, which will help in choosing the best provider based on your current usage.

The future will all be about convenience and e-SIMS are a step in the right direction. The major carriers in Australia understand that, even if they are not too enthusiastic about the direction in which things are headed.

How the eSIM will change the way you Buy from your phone company

As an e-SIM or Soft SIM is virtual, this means that everything will be controlled from inside your smartphone or tablet device. No longer will you be restricted to one physical SIM card and needing to call your new provider up to port your number each time you want to take advantage of a better offer.

  • You will select more than one plan at a time.
    You’ll be able to have a data plan with cheap data and a voice plan with cheap voice and use them where you are. You can have a Telstra SIM for being out in the bush and an Optus SIM for when you’re in town.

Soft SIM technology moves all of the existing power away from the major telcos and gives it back to the consumers, which as paying subscribers to the network providers, should be able to pick and choose at their convenience.

  • There may evolve an app to move you between the different plans according to your context.

With all new technologies come innovation and changes, as more third parties become involved, this will no doubt be the same when it comes to the large scale take up and usage of the e-SIM.

Companies such as Apple which have a track record when it comes to creating useful Apps may come out with one which will allow you to move between network providers, based on how much mobile data you are using and what your best available plan is, as an example.

How the eSIM will change the way you service / self-service

It’s almost certain that the e-SIM will move services digital, further increasing towards being more online, more automated and more mobile.

There will be an increased focus on self-service and using applications to monitor your usage, rather than calling up a call center or going into a physical store to seek customer service.

It’s much cheaper for the phone carriers to push for this direction as it saves them money and gives customers exactly what they want, which is increased flexibility and the ability to do more on their own, at their own time of choosing.

With people signing up online and more users preferring to use the telco admin portals on their websites, it’s logical that this is the direction in which things are headed.

This is just the same as how we all use online banking these days, rather than going into a physical bank branch to make customer inquiries or pay our utility bills.

Third party tools to help you manage your data. You might end up with multiple eSIMS, as we’ve said, even in one phone. Plus a SIM in your car. And maybe your kids backpack so you know where he or she is. Finding a way to manage data across them, adding more to some sims when required or throttling / stopping data, will all become far more common.

Summing up

Apple has always been an instigator for change and is likely to have a far greater role in and control of, each of these stages, more so than as it does now.

Apple with their legion of loyal fans, using both the iPhone and iPad make up such a proportion of the market that their decision to support the Apple SIM is likely to raise the issue and start the avalanche.

Working in a loose collaboration with Samsung will give them critical mass to start the change. This will no doubt annoy the traditional national carriers, but with consumers demanding change, they won’t have much choice but to tow the line.

But Apple is just a phone manufacturer and while there are rumors going around that they might possibly have ambitions of becoming an MVNO, at they moment they are just a phone company.

In saying that though, what is really happening here is a major disruption to the industry, perhaps this shake up is just what’s needed to breathe life into what’s traditionally been seen as a one-sided industry, where the telecos hold all the power of choice over consumers.

We’ve seen this before in hotels and taxis and now we’re seeing it in telcos too.


Extra Resources – Articles of use to Prepaid Users

  • Prepaid plans now have streamed audio included in them :
    You may not be aware of one of the biggest improvements to prepaid plans since they were originally devised. 2016 saw the release of prepaid plans which have streamed audio included in them. If you already have a Spotify, iTunes Music, Google Music or IHeartRadio account, then you might like to find out more about streamed audio in phone plans.
  • Entertainment options are becoming common :
    You may also have started hearing about the increasing inclusion of entertainment options in prepaid and SIM Only phone plans. We also examine Optus’ mobile phone plan Entertainment options, Telstra’s mobile phone plan Entertainment options and compare the two.
  • Prepaid vs postpaid vs month to month :
    We’ve given a short explanation on this page but if you want more detail on the types of phone plans in Australia, this is it. In Prepaid vs postpaid vs month to month, we explain and the best value alternatives you have and when it makes sense to use each type.
  • Prepaid vs Postpaid –the simple trick to getting the best value :
    The tier 1 telcos ( Optus Telstra and Vodafone ) all have both prepaid and postpaid plans. Sometimes they have both types of plan at the same price point.
  • Does it make sense to buy a Phone myself and add a SIM ? :
    It’s often even cheaper to buy your own phone and add a SIM ( including a prepaid SIM ) to it. We explain how to go Buying a phone outright and adding a SIM.
  • Data Rollovers :
    Considering a plan with data rollover in it ? We explain why they’re not the real solution to the real problem with prepaid plans.

And, remember, before you buy, read the CIS (that’s the Critical Information Summary–a clearly written definition of what is and is not included in the plans from these phone companies) before you buy. You need to be confident in the plan you choose yourself. You’ll find the CIS on the Vodafone website.


Compare all of our prepaid plans

If you need another network, you might like to check our Best Prepaid Plans Page and compare all the plans ( including every one mentioned on this page. ) A list of best value plans using the Telstra, Optus and Vodafone networks.




Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.