Airtel Launches eSIM

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Airtel Kenya has launched eSIM, which will allow users to access communication services without having a physical SIM card.

An eSIM, is a form of programmable SIM card that is embedded directly into devices such as phones and tablets, and cannot be physically removed.

It is designed to replace the traditional SIM card, which is a removable chip that identifies and authenticates the user on a cellular network. According to the telco the digital SIM enables customers to access the same functionality as someone using a physical SIM.

Airtel becomes second Kenyan telco to launch eSIM after its rival Safaricom launched the same in 2019. Albeit Safaricom has witnessed low uptake since then, partly because it requires high performance devices.

With eSIM, the user can switch between mobile network providers without physically changing the SIM card, which in Kenya, will now be among Airtel, Safaricom, and Faiba.

Some of the benefits of eSIM include: being able to use multiple mobile numbers, conveniently switching network operators and cancels out the need to replace SIM cards when they get lost.

To  Activate an eSIM, check if your phone is compatible by dialing *#06# on your smartphone. Your device should display an EID number – which means that your device is eSIM capable. The eSIM will cost KES 100.

Many modern high-end devices support eSIM, however not all. Galaxy S smartphones by Samsung starting with the S20 are supported. Modern Apple devices and Pixel phones by Google as well.

BY NKATHA WAINAINA

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