MTN Nigeria Launches eSIM, Begins Trial

MTN Nigeria Plc has commenced the trial of embedded subscriber identity modules (eSIM) services on its network, the first in West Africa. The MTN eSIM, which was launched on Wednesday, is expected to run a trial for 12 months.

What is eSIM?

An eSIM is an ’embedded’ or ‘electronic’ SIM card which is built into a mobile phone, smartphone or tablet device at the point of manufacture. Unlike the physical SIM, you do not need to insert an eSIM into your phone as it is already built into your smartphone, device, or wearable.


Mazen Mroue, the chief operating officer at MTN Nigeria said the company received approval from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to conduct the trial.

“Unlike the physical SIM, you do not need to insert an eSIM into your phone as it is already built into your smartphone, device or wearable,” the company said in a statement.

“You simply activate the eSIM with your account profile and you are ready to enjoy all the services you normally would with a physical SIM.”

“The eSIM is not like the physical SIM where you have to insert it in your phone, rather it is already built into your smartphone, device or wearable.”

Mroue said the introduction of the eSIM will offer customers 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,” he said.

Speaking at a virtual launch, Bayo Adekanmbi, chief transformation officer at MTN Nigeria, said the eSIM is open to a limited number of subscribers, who own compatible devices and it will be on a first-come-first-served basis.

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.

Adekanmbi added that the new technology would be useful for frequent travellers and tourists, making it easy for them to opt for and keep a local subscription when visiting Nigeria.

The company said users would have to register to use the eSIM, just like the physical SIM.

How Is eSIM Different From The Regular SIM?

  • eSIMs allow you to have more than one phone number associated with your smart device. They are particularly useful for people who want to manage personal and business lines.
  • The possibility of losing or damaging your SIM is reduced because it is built into your device.
  • You no longer have to deal with cutting SIM cards or finding adapters.
  • It is extremely convenient for frequent travelers, making it easier to switch between network operators.

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