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How to activate eSim in Nigeria (MTN, Airtel, 9Mobile)

eSim is becoming a thing in Nigeria and a lot of people should switch to using an eSim because it has some advantages. If you are looking for how to activate eSim in Nigeria then here is a complete guide. There are three networks in Nigeria that offer eSim services. They include MTN, Airtel, and 9mobile. 9mobile was the first mobile network in Nigeria to offer eSim services but when MTN started they made it more popular. Airtel is the most recent network to join and we expect Glo to start offering the service before the end of the year. But what is an eSim and why should you switch to using an eSim?

What is an eSim?

eSim is the next step in the evolution of the Subscriber identification module. It is embedded in a phone instead of using a physical sim card slot. You don’t need a physical sim if you switch to using an eSim. If your phone is compatible with eSim you can walk into any MTN, Airtel, or 9Mobile office to activate it. We will explain more about it in a bit. You can also use two different eSims on a single device. Using an eSim won’t affect how you make calls or subscribe for data and other services offered by your network provider.

How to activate eSim in Nigeria

Let’s give you a rundown of how you can activate in eSim in Nigeria on all the supported networks.

How to activate eSim on MTN

To activate eSim on the MTN network you need to visit any MTN service office across the country. Then you talk to any customer care representative regarding eSim activation. They will work you through the process and provide you with a QR code that you will scan to activate on your phone. The agent will also help you know if your phone is compatible or not. Activating the eSim on your phone takes less than 5 minutes.

How to activate eSim on Airtel

To activate the eSim on Airtel Network you need to visit any Airtel office in Nigeria and ask them about it. They will work you through the process and provide you with a QR code that you will scan.

How to activate eSim on 9Mobile

The process is pretty much the same you walk into any 9mobile experience center, and they will provide a QR code that you will scan to download the eSim on your phone.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of using an eSim in Nigeria?

One of the advantages of using eSim is the ability to switch different sim profiles on your phone. You can switch to any network with ease it is very helpful for people who travel a lot. Another advantage is that you can use an eSim on a smartwatch, iPad, and other small devices. Typically these devices don’t even have a physical sim card slot. It is impossible to damage an eSim since it’s not something you can see. It offers a little bit more in terms of security since it’s not physical even if your phone is stolen it can be traceable using the number.

One of the biggest downsides to using an eSim is the fact that it can’t be removed easily. Let’s say someone is tracing your movement through your phone number. Since you can’t remove your sim card physically you might face some issues around uncertainty. If your phone breaks down there is no room of removing it and switching to another phone.

Which Phones in Nigeria Support eSim?

Well, if you own an iPhone X up to the latest iPhone XR then you can use an eSim. For Samsung users, if you own the Samsung Galaxy S20 upward then you can also use an eSim. There is currently no Tecno or Infinix phone in Nigeria that supports eSim. We will update this the moment we find any phone from the brands that support eSim. Currently only the Xiaomi 12T pro that was released in Nigeria supports eSim.

Can I Switch back to Physical Sim after activating eSim?

Yes, you just have to go through the same process you went through before activating the eSim. It is also required that you must register your Sim before activating it as an eSim.


The adoption of eSims has been slow globally and it’s no different in Nigeria. Smartphone users don’t really understand how the whole thing works and they are skeptical. In case you have any questions about eSim then feel free to ask them in the comment section. We will be glad to respond and help.

Tech Blogger and Video Producer. Passionate about smartphones and other consumer technology. If I'm not writing or editing a video I'm out there enjoying soccer with friends.