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Telstra bringing eSIM functionality to Windows 10 devices


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Credit: Microsoft

Starting Thursday next week, users of certain Windows 10 hardware with eSIM functionality will be able to use and purchase mobile plans from Telstra.

Australia’s incumbent telco said from March 7, people with Surface Pro 4G LTE or HP Spectre devices will be able to use the Windows 10 Mobile Plans app to begin the process of getting connected, before being shot over to Telstra’s website to purchase a plan.

“eSIM makes it possible to connect your compatible Windows 10 Modern PC to the internet, without having to go to a store or collect a SIM,” Telstra consumer segment executive Kevin Teoh said. “It will be easier than ever before to connect on the go.”

In a bid to lure people into eSIM usage, Telstra is offering customers a free 30-day trial with 30GB of data included. Once the trial is over, customers will need to use a prepaid or postpaid account to maintain connectivity.

In September 2017, Telstra launched its wearable eSIM product dubbed Telstra One Number, that allows users to share the same phone number across their wearables as they use on their smartphones, sharing data, call, and text inclusions from their mobile plan.

Apple announced support for eSIMs in its latest refresh of the iPhone line, while Google has had eSIM support since the Pixel 2.

Meanwhile in China, the GSM Association was unsurprisingly bullish on the potential of its eSIM standard, even though the Middle Kingdom does not have a high uptake of eSIM smartwatches.

“Despite creating smartphones for the global market, the Chinese domestic market has not formally adopted eSIM technology which will require appropriate regulation and new manufacturing, logistical and supply chain processes,” GSMA said.

“Globally, over fifty mobile operators already support eSIM functionality in smartphones.”

The GSMA said the availability of eSIM services in China varies wildly on operator and city.

“In June 2018, China Mobile announced the launch of an eSIM-enabled smartwatch (Huawei Watch 2) in Tianjin, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Chengdu,” it said.

“Since October 2018, China Telecom has supported eSIM functionality for the Apple Watch, providing limited eSIM service for locally registered phone numbers in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, and Nanjing.

“As of November 2018, China Unicom provides eSIM services in seven cities: Shanghai, Guangzhou, Changsha, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Wuhan and Zhengzhou.”

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