The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has granted approval for two mobile network operators, MTN Nigeria and 9Mobile, to carry out trials on the workability of embedded Subscriber Identification Modules (SIM) service in Nigeria.
It said yesterday that the trials, approved to run for one year, would involve testing 5, 000 e-SIMs by the two networks, subject to compliance with some regulatory conditions.
In a statement in Abuja by the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Mr. Ikechukwu Adinde, NCC outlined the conditions to include full compliance by the MNOs with the Registration of Telecoms Subscribers Regulations 2011.
Others include the Mobile Number Portability Regulations and Business Rules 2015; Guidelines on SIM Replacement 2017; and non-degradation of the Quality of Service experience by users of e-SIMs.
The commission’s Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said the primary objective of the e-SIM trial was to assess the technical performance of the e-SIM on telecoms service providers’ network towards eventual roll-out, if satisfactory.
An e-SIM is a small chip that is embedded on a mobile phone or smart device.
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, using the same SIM.
The information on the e-SIM is rewritable by operators and the identification information can be updated over time.
Danbatta said the technology would eliminate the need for physical SIM card slots on mobile devices in the future.
He said the trial was in line with the commission’s regulatory approach to ensure Nigeria’s telecoms ecosystem is in tandem with global best practices.
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 roll-out, if satisfactory.
“The e-SIM is a technology that will eliminate the need for physical SIM card slots on mobile devices in the near future and 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.”