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MTN flags off e-SIM services in Nigeria

 

“We are in a fast-paced digital age with new technological advancements driving the constantly changing landscape. Against this backdrop, customers depend on us to provide high quality, reliable, and easy-to-use connectivity solutions.

 

By Temmy Don

 

If MTN Nigeria Plc’s embedded Subscriber Identity Modules e-SIM services trial which it flagged off on its network today, catches the fancy of Nigerians, the days of storing numbers on SIM cards may be numbered. The most fascinating aspect of the service is that a user may no longer need to swap a SIM card to a new phone physically.

eSIM is a small chip inside the phone which does not require physical SIM cards or swapping. It enables the phone to work in a similar way to the Near Field Communication, NFC chip that is used for payment technologies.

MTN kicked off the service today, making it the first to do so in West Africa. It said the service is based on approvals received from the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC.

The technology, commonly described as the next step in the evolution of SIMs, is designed to deliver unprecedented freedom and flexibility. Unlike physical SIMs, e-SIMs are built into smartphones, devices, and wearables. They support multiple profiles and allow customers to connect multiple numbers to the devices they are deployed in.

e-SIM

According to MTN, the trial which kicked-off yesterday afternoon, will run for one year and is open on a first come first served basis to a limited number of subscribers who own compatible devices.

Chief Operating Officer, MTN Nigeria, Mazen Mroue, said the company was eager to get through the trial process so that the technology can be deployed for the benefit of every Nigerian.

“We are in a fast-paced digital age with new technological advancements driving the constantly changing landscape. Against this backdrop, customers depend on us to provide high quality, reliable, and easy-to-use connectivity solutions.

“With the introduction of the e-SIM, we will offer customers a seamless and distinctive digital experience with new levels of flexibility, simplicity, and convenience. This is a further demonstration of our firm commitment to delivering the benefits of a bold new digital world to our customers; and we will continue seeking new ways to provide solutions that address old and new challenges, making life a little easier and brighter,” Mroue added.

Mroue reminded that notwithstanding the sophistication of e-SIMs, the onboarding requirements are the same as are required for a physical SIM.  He advised users to remember that like the physical SIM, e-SIM also requires registration in line with existing regulatory prescriptions for activating a device embedded with an e-SIM.

e-SIMs are particularly useful for people who want to manage personal and business lines easily and effectively or want a separate profile for data. The new technology will also be extremely convenient for frequent travelers and tourists, making it easier for them to opt for and keep a local subscription when visiting Nigeria.

MTN said it is spearheading e-SIM adoption in Nigeria as part of efforts to enable the digital economy, drive digital transformation, foster inclusion, improve customer experience and maintain the highest quality of service for its customers.

Some devices supporting e-SIM

Apple has turned to eSIM for the iPad Pro, Apple Watch Series 3 and Watch Series 4 and Series 5 as well as dual SIM support for the iPhone XS and XS Max and iPhone XR as well as the new iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max. Could next year’s iPhone 12 move completely to eSIM?

Google’s Pixel 2 also supported eSIM but it was originally only used in the US for Google’s Google Fi. The Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL and new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL do as well.

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