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NCC: MTN, 9mobile to carry out tests on 5,000 e-SIMs

NCC: MTN, 9mobile to carry out tests on 5,000 e-SIMs
November 02
17:13 2020

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has granted MTN and 9mobile approval to carry out trial on the workability of embedded subscriber identification module (e-SIM) services in Nigeria.

Ikechukwu Adinde, NCC director of public affairs, disclosed this in a statement issued on Monday.

MTN had announced on July 15, 2020 that it has started the trial of e-SIM services on its network, while 9mobile announced the launch of e-SIM on its network on August 5, 2020.

According to the statement, the trial will run for a period of 12 months and will involve testing 5,000 e-SIMs by the two telecom providers, subject to compliance with a number of regulatory conditions.


NCC said the conditions include: “Full compliance by the mobile network operators (MNOs) with the registration of Telecoms Subscribers Regulations 2011, the Mobile Number Portability Regulations and Business Rules 2015, Guidelines on SIM Replacement 2017; and non-degradation of the Quality of Service (QoS) experience by users of e-SIMs”.

Umar Danbatta, executive chairman of NCC, said the primary objective of the e-SIM trial is to assess the technical performance of e-SIM on telecoms service providers’ network towards eventual rollout, if satisfactory.

The e-SIM is a small chip that is embedded on a mobile phone or smart device; it is designed for convenience, flexibility and simplicity, and it enables easy access for subscribers to choose a pre-paid plan provider and switch between network operators.


Also, information on the e-SIM is rewritable by operators and the identification information can be updated over time.

Danbatta explained that the e-SIM technology will eliminate the need for physical SIM card slots on mobile devices in the near future, adding that the trial is in line with the commission’s forward-looking regulatory approach to ensure Nigeria’s telecoms ecosystem is in tandem with global best practices.

MTN and 9mobile, however, said the e-SIM can only be used by subscribers who own compatible devices.

The compatible devices include Google: Pixel 3, 3XL and Pixel 4, 4 XL; Apple: iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, iPhone XS and XS Max, iPhone XR; and Samsung: S20 series.



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