Airtel Nigeria recently announced that it is now offering eSIM service, joining MTN Nigeria and 9mobile as mobile network operators in Nigeria that offer the service.
eSIM, an embedded SIM, is considered the next step in the evolution of SIM cards as it allows for more freedom and flexibility.
Unlike physical SIMs, eSIMs are built into devices and can be activated with an account profile, eliminating the need for insertion into a phone.
Benefits of eSIM
eSIM technology enables users to have multiple phone numbers on one smart device, making it beneficial for those who need to separate personal and professional lines.
- Multiple phone numbers on one device: eSIM allows users to have multiple phone numbers assigned to a single device, allowing them to separate personal and professional lines.
- Flexibility: eSIMs are not tied to a specific carrier or device, so users can switch carriers or devices without having to replace their SIM cards.
- Convenience: eSIMs eliminate the need for physical SIM cards and the associated hassle of switching them out when changing devices or carriers.
- Cost Savings: eSIMs allow users to avoid the cost of purchasing and maintaining multiple devices for different phone numbers.
- Remote Provisioning: eSIMs can be remotely provisioned and activated, allowing users to activate their SIMs without having to physically visit a carrier store.
- Remote Updates: eSIMs can be remotely updated with new or updated profiles, eliminating the need for a physical SIM swap.
- Security:eSIMs can be protected by the same security mechanisms as built-in storage, making it more difficult for unauthorized access.
How to activate eSIM on MTN, 9mobile, Airtel
An eSIM can only be activated on a compatible phone. While eSIM-enabled phones are currently limited, some of the latest models from major manufacturers include this capability.
The following devices and their new models are eSIM enabled:
- Apple iPhone XS and newer models
- Samsung Galaxy S-series from S20
- Samsung Galaxy Note series from Note20
- Google Pixel 2 and more recent models
- Samsung Galaxy Z and Galaxy Fold devices
The process of activating eSIM on the networks of MTN, 9mobile and Airtel is similar.
- To activate an eSIM on MTN, you must visit any MTN store. The company’s customer care agents will check your device for eligibility and walk you through the setup process.
- For 9mobile, the customer is also expected to walk into select 9Mobile Experience Centres and request an eSIM activation. A QR code will be provided to scan and download an eSIM profile and perform the usual SIM registration.
- Airtel also requires you to visit any of its Service Centres where the customer care agents will walk you through the process of setting up your eSIM.
An eSIM requires registration, just like a physical SIM card. Additionally, a subscriber can switch between an eSIM and a physical SIM.