NCC clears MTN, 9mobile on e-SIM trial

NEWS DIGEST – The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), on Monday gave its approval to MTN Nigeria and 9Mobile, to carry out a trial on embedded Subscriber Identification Modules (e-SIM) Service in Nigeria.

According to reports, the regulatory body says the trial would run for a period of one year, noting that it would involve testing 5,000 e-SIMs by the two networks.

A statement by the Public Affairs Director of NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde said the trial is subject to compliance with a number of regulatory conditions.

Dr. Adinde announced that 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.

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.