MTN launches e-sim, a virtual sim card for more security and quality service

Telecoms giant, MTN Nigeria Plc on Wednesday, July 15, 2020, broke another record as it became the first in this part of the world to launch its e-SIM services on its network

The e-sim which does not require sim card, but a virtual one with more security is to improve customer experience and maintain the highest quality of service for its customers.

The biggest network provider in Nigeria revealed during the virtual launching in Lagos followed approvals from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The Chief Operating Officer, MTN Nigeria, Mazen Mroue, said that the company was really in a hurry to get through the trial process so that the technology could be deployed for the benefit of every Nigerian. He said that the evolution of e-SIMs (Subscriber Identity Modules cards) was designed to deliver unprecedented freedom and flexibility.

According to Mroue, ‘’Unlike the physical SIMs, e-SIMs are built into smartphones, devices and wearables. They support multiple profiles and allow customers to connect multiple numbers to their e-SIM devices.

“Notwithstanding the sophistication of e-SIMs, the onboarding requirements are the same, as are required for a physical SIM. Hence, SIM registration, in line with existing regulatory prescriptions, remains a requirement for activating a device embedded with an e-SIM,” he said.

The MTN chief also said that the e-sims were particularly useful for people who wanted to manage personal and business lines easily and effectively while noting that the new technology would also be extremely convenient for frequent travellers and tourists, making it easier for them to opt for and keep a local subscription when visiting Nigeria.

What You Need To Know About The Recently Released MTN eSim Cards

Virtual Sim cards, simply called eSim cards, are now available in Nigeria, according to an announcement by the telecommunications service provider, MTN. The virtual cards will provide the same functionalities as physical SIM cards.

The virtual sim is built into the device and therefore cannot be lost or damaged by the owner. If the mobile device gets lost or damaged however, the user will need to visit an MTN store to have it deactivated.

The innovation of eSim cards allows people to switch between network operators easily, especially if they are frequent travellers who need to use different sim cards in different countries.

Virtual sim cards are not available for everyone yet, as only a few phones are currently compatible and can be integrated with it. Only certain brands of Google, Apple and Samsung phones can have eSims integrated into them.

The compatible Google phones are Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. For Apple you have iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR. The Samsung S20 series are also compatible with eSim cards.

How eSim cards work

To use eSim cards, it first has to be activated on your phone. The activation has to be done in an MTN store by a customer care agent. According to MTN, the process is done at no cost to the subscriber.

Once the device is certified compatible with the eSim, an account profile is created for the subscriber and the agents complete the integration process with the user.

You’ll need to visit any of our MTN stores. Our customer care agents will check your device for eligibility and walk you through the setup process.


Once the integration is completed, a customer will find that using the virtual card is basically the same as using the current sim. There are new additions though. While physical sim cards can store up to 200 contacts, eSim cards can store more than 200 contacts.

Current phone numbers cannot be linked to the eSim cards at the moment. MTN will be testing the virtual sim cards over the next 1 year. Available eSim cards are limited and will be given to subscribers on a first come first serve basis, as long as the eligibility requirements are met.

With eSim cards now available for mobile, Sim cards have undergone a 360-degree transformation. In this part of the world where telcos have moved from macro sims to micro, and nano sims, eSim cards is the next generation of SIM card evolution.

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