Oppo and Thales claim 5G SA eSIM first

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Chinese smartphone vendor Oppo has launched a new phone that contains the first eSIM compatible with standalone 5G.

We don’t know what special sauce has to go into an eSIM for it to work with SA (proper) 5G, as opposed to NSA (preliminary) 5G but, with help from French tech company Thales, Oppo reckons it’s the first to make it. You can experience this revolutionary eSIM in the Oppo Find X3 Pro, which may be somewhat easier than finding a 5G SA network to try it out on.

“We see eSIM as an exciting prospect to pursue our commitment to providing innovative 5G experiences for users,” said Xia Yang, Senior Director of Carrier Product at Oppo. “Through our collaboration with Thales, we have made the Find X3 Pro one of the first devices in the world to be equipped with the 5G SA-Compatible eSIM.”

Hold on a sec, ‘one of the first’? That’s not the same as THE first and yet the press release says “OPPO Partners with Thales for World’s First 5G SA-Compatible eSIM”. Which is it, guys? Is there another device you’re not telling us about?

“This is an important milestone in the development of eSIM technology,” said Jérôme Bendell, CEO of Thales in China. “We believe that with the evolvement and widespread use of eSIM technology, it will further unlock the benefits of 5G to both operators and consumers. In particular, the 5G SA eSIM maximises trust and resilience with mobile operators who have deployed 5G core networks, and for their customers.”

Anyway, it’s good to see the eSIM scene continuing to progress. Apart from the maddening fiddlyness of trying to get a nano SIM to stay in its little tray while you slide it into the phone, the move to eSIMs should be very empowering for mobile subscribers. If all it takes is the push of a button to move provider then the market should be more competitive than ever.