Evolution is definitely one of the beautiful things about the technology landscape. So when it comes to Subscriber Identity Modules (SIM), the next step or phase in its evolution is the eSIM also known as Embedded SIM. On July 15, 2020, MTN Nigeria became the first telecom company to launch the eSIM service in the country.
During the online launch, the company’s Chief Operating Officer Mazen Mroue said “Unlike physical SIMs, eSIMs are built into smartphones, devices, and wearables. They support multiple profiles and allow customers to connect multiple numbers to their eSIM devices.” He further went on to state that only 5,000 subscribers will enjoy this service in the next year as it was still in the trial stage.
So if you are curious about eSIM in Nigeria, uses and how it works? Then, you’ve come to the right place.
How Does eSIM Work?
Launched globally in 2016, the eSIM is the next generation of SIM cards set to succeed the Nano SIMs which debuted in 2012. Unlike other generations of SIM cards, it is embedded in either smartphones, smart devices, PCs or any wearables. The eSIM does not involve a physical card. With embedded software, a tiny chip is installed in the system upon manufacture. This means it can only be activated remotely by a telecom company like MTN Nigeria.
What if a subscriber of let’s said MTN Nigeria wishes to move to another network provider? It is very easy to move, the subscriber’s data that is programmed into the eSIM will be reprogrammed to the new network provider. During the registration/activation process, a QR code assigned to the eSIM is scanned with a compatible phone. Also, roaming on a local network outside of the country will no longer be a thing.
List of Compatible Devices for MTN eSIM in Nigeria
The following are devices that are compatible with the MTN eSIM which is still under the trial stage;
- Google Pixel 3 & 3 XL
- Google Pixel 4 & 4 XL
- iPhone XR
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone 11
- iPhone 11 Pro
- iPhone 11 Pro Max
- Samsung Galaxy S20
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus
How to activate MTN eSIM in Nigeria
According to the network provider (MTN), the eSIM trial will run for a period of one year and is open on a first come first serve basis. The maximum number the trial will take is 5,000 subscribers, so hurry now!!!
To activate the MTN Nigeria eSIM, visit any of their official stores with a compatible device. A customer care representative will check the device for its eligibility and then walk you through the whole activation/registration process.
Uses of eSIM in Nigeria
Below is the benefits and uses of eSIM in Nigeria;
- Easy to switch between network providers, thereby making it ideal for travellers.
- No more cutting of SIM cards or looking for adapters.
- There is little to no possibility of damaging or losing your SIM since it is built inside the device.
- You can have more than one phone number (personal and business lines) linked to your device.
eSIM in Nigeria is definitely still in the growing stage and will take more than a year before it becomes a household thing in the country. In fact, not all smartphones come with an eSIM, especially in the budget and mid-range segment. While we acknowledge that the service is still far from being mainstream in this part of the world, we complement the efforts and hard work of MTN Nigeria in starting the trial stage of their eSIM service.