On 15 July 2020, MTN became the first service provider to introduce eSIM in Nigeria. Thanks to technology, eSIM is the next evolution in SIM cards after having the Mini SIM, Micro SIM and the Nano SIM. Apple began supporting it in 2018 when it released iOS 12.1 on its iPhone XS and XS Max.
“Unlike physical SIMs, you do not need to insert an eSIM into your phone as it is already built into your smartphone, device or wearable”, said Mazen Mroue, MTN’s Chief Operating Officer during the launch in Nigeria. “They support multiple profiles and allow customers to connect multiple numbers to their eSIM devices.” Mroue further confirmed that only 5,000 subscribers will be able to enjoy the service in Nigeria for now as the system is still in its trial phase.
What is an eSIM and How Does it Work?
Referred to as an embedded-SIM, it is a form of programmable Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) that is embedded directly into a device. eSIM offers unprecedented flexibility and security as it saves you the stress of carrying a physical SIM around.
eSIM was launched in 2016 succeeding the now popular Nano SIM which came around in 2012. The Samsung Gear S2 became the first device to support an eSIM. The eSIM is so flexible it can be built into a smartphone, wearables such as your smartwatch and any smart device.
An eSIM works just like a second SIM card if you were having a device with two SIM slots. It provides you a second phone number without buying another SIM card, all you have to do is activate it with your account profile and you are up and running.
The eSIM provides a wide range of possibilities. For example, it is a software which can be activated by any supporting cellular network provider anywhere in the world. There will be no loss of data because whatever has been programed into it during the registration phase can be reprogrammed to another cellular network any time. This saves a whole of cost which may arise during roaming when you are in another country.
During the registration phase, your device is used to scan a QR code assigned to the eSIM. The service provider will now activate a profile for you on your devivce.
List of Compatible Devices for eSIM in Nigeria
- Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL
- Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL
- Apple iPhone XR
- Apple iPhone XS and XS Max
- Apple iPhone 11
- Apple iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max
- Samsung Galaxy S20 series
How to Activate an MTN eSIM in Nigeria
Of all the service providers in Nigeria, MTN is the first and only provider to offer the service at the moment. Only 5,000 subscribers will enjoy the service for the next year as it is still in trial phase.
If you have an eligible device, visit the nearest MTN store around you ask for an eSIM activation. The customer agents there will walk you through the rest of the process. You will be required to register it like a physical SIM in accordance with the regulations of the NCC.
“The onboarding requirements are the same as required for a physical SIM”, explains Mazen Mroue. “Hence, SIM registration, in line with existing regulatory prescriptions, remains a requirement for activating a device embedded with an eSIM”.
If you are tired or a physical SIM and you want an eSIM in Nigeria, visit the nearest MTN store as soon as possible because it’s a first-come first-served basis.
Benefits of Using an eSIM in Nigeria
As we’ve said earlier, there is so many good reasons why you should get an eSIM in Nigeria.
- Convenient for travelers and very easy to switch network providers.
- No need for a physical SIM card.
- No data loss which may arise as a result of lost or damaged SIM card.
- Possibility of having more than one phone number.
While it’s popular in some other parts of the world, Nigerians are just getting it for the first time. Activating in eSIM in Nigeria is a no-brainer if you have a compatible device. Very soon, other network providers will adopt it.