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NCC Approves e-Sim Trials For MTN, 9mobile

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The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) on Monday, gave approval to two mobile network operators – MTN Nigeria and 9mobile – to commence trials on how the embedded Subscriber Identification Modules (e-Sim) would work in the Nigerian space.

The trial, according to the public statement released by NCC, would be subject to compliance with a number of regulatory conditions.

The test would cover a period of one year, and will involve testing 5,000 e-SIMs by the two networks.

In a statement released to the public by NCC, the communication regulations commission noted the condition of compliance on which the trial is subjected:

  1. Full compliance by the MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) with the Registration of Telecoms Subscribers Regulations 2011.
  2. Mobile Number Portability Regulations and Business Rules 2015.
  3. Guidelines on SIM Replacement 2017; and
  4. Non-degradation of the Quality of Service (QoS) experience by users of e-SIMs.

According to Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba 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.”

The NCC noted 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.”

The e-Sim is a programmable SIM card in form of a chip. It is implanted into devices, smartphones, and wearables.

The implementation of the e-SIM started in 2012 with the embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card (eUICC) implanted into cars. This eUICC was used for cars to connect with network provider so that they can be used to make emergency calls when there is need for such.

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