The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has granted approval for two mobile network operators, MTN Nigeria and 9Mobile, to carry out a trial on the workability of embedded Subscriber Identification Modules (e-SIM) Service in Nigeria.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the commission’s spokesperson, Ikechukwu Adinde, on Monday.
The statement said the trial, approved to run for a period of one year, will involve testing 5,000 e-SIMs by the two networks, subject to compliance with a number of regulatory conditions.
These conditions include full compliance by the 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.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Umar Danbatta, said the primary objective of the e-SIM trial is to assess the technical performance of the e-SIM on telecoms service providers’ network towards eventual rollout, if satisfactory.
An e-SIM is a small chip that is embedded on a mobile phone or smart devices.
It is designed for convenience, flexibility and simplicity. The e-SIM makes it easier for subscribers to choose a pre-paid plan provider and switch between network operators.
The information on the e-SIM is rewritable by operators and the identification information can be updated over time.
The e-SIMs is a technology that will eliminate the need for physical SIM card slots on mobile devices in the near future.
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.