The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) announced on Monday that it has granted permission to two mobile network operators ( MNOs), MTN Nigeria and 9Mobile, to conduct a trial on the efficacy of the Embedded Subscriber Identification Modules (e-SIM) service in Nigeria.
The regulator added that the trial would run for a duration of one year, adding that it would entail checking 5,000 e-SIMs on both networks.
Statement by the Director of Public Affairs of the NCC, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, states that the trial is subject to a number of regulatory requirements.
Dr. Adinde has confirmed that the conditions include complete compliance by the MNOs with the Telecoms Subscribers Registration Regulations 2011; the Mobile Number Portability Regulations and the Market Rules 2015.
He added that guidelines on SIM Replacement 2017; and non-degradation of the Quality of Service (QoS) experience by users of e-SIMs are part of the conditions.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, was quoted as saying that 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.
Dr Adinde further explained that 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, he said.
“The information on the e-SIM is rewritable by operators and the identification information can be updated over time,” Dr Adinde added.