CEO blames price barrier for Nigeria’s slow eSIM adoption

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

CEO of eSIM Plus, Dina Tsybulskaya has cited the expensive price of eSIM-compatible phones as the reason behind Nigeria’s sluggish adoption of the technology.

Tsybulskaya, whose company provides the infrastructure for Nigerian telecom providers, also attributed the development to the laborious procedure of activating SIM cards for visitors to the country.

In an exclusive interview with Nairametrics, the CEO of eSIM Plus, a global tech firm providing international virtual phone number and mobile data services, said,“The primary challenge impeding the swift adoption of eSIM technology in Nigeria has been the relatively elevated cost of eSIM-compatible devices. However, as the retail prices of these devices decrease, we anticipate a corresponding acceleration in eSIM market penetration”

“Another factor is the price level for mobile internet. The Nigerian telecommunications landscape is competitively priced when it comes to local mobile internet services. Yet, roaming charges within Nigeria and for those travelling from Nigeria to other countries are among the highest globally. It represents a significant financial burden to international visitors and Nigerians travelling abroad,” she added.

Despite the obstacles, Tsybulskaya pointed out that Nigeria offers enormous potential for the expansion of eSIMs.

Tsybulskaya predicts that by 2027, the worldwide eSIM market would reach a value of $16.3 billion. According to her, shipments of eSIM-capable devices will increase by 11% in 2022 to reach 424 million units, and by 2030, eSims are expected to be used in 80% of smartphones.

eSIM, also known as embedded SIM, is a digital SIM that gives users access to the same features as those who use a traditional SIM.

In 2020, the Nigerian Communications Commission granted MTN and 9mobile permission to begin an eSIM trial, marking the beginning of the country’s eSIM journey.

Since then, the two carriers have completely implemented the service, enabling their clients to do away with physical SIM cards if they own suitable phones. The service was also introduced by Airtel in January 2023.

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