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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