NCC grants approval to MTN, 9Mobile to carry out e-sim services

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has granted approval to two mobile network operators (MNOs), MTN Nigeria and 9Mobile, to carry out trial on the possibility of embedded Subscriber Identification Modules (e-SIM) Service in the country.

The Commission in statement on Monday stated that the trial which will run for a period of one year, is expected to involve testing 5,000 e-SIMs by the two networks.

The statement which was signed by the Public Affairs, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde stated further that the trial was subject to compliance with a number of regulatory conditions.

The conditions include full compliance by the MNOs with the Registration of Telecoms Subscribers Regulations 2011; the Mobile Number Portability Regulations and Business 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.

Quoting the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, the statement stated 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.

The e-SIMs, the EVC pointed out 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.

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