Benjamin Babine, Abuja
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has granted MTN Nigeria and 9Mobile the permission to carry out trial on the workability of embedded Subscriber Identification Modules (e-SIM) Service in Nigeria.
The telecom regulator disclosed this on Monday in a statement saying that the trial is approved to run for a period of one year. NCC said that subject to compliance with a number of regulatory conditions, the trial will involve testing 5,000 e-SIMs.
The commission stated that the conditions include “full compliance by the two 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.”
According to Executive Vice Chairman (EVC)of NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, 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.
According to the EVC, the e-SIMs is a technology that 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.
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.