Airtel launches eSIM services in Uganda

By Elijah Odhiambo

Airtel Uganda has followed Airtel Kenya in rolling out eSims.

eSIM which stands for Embedded SIM, is a small, programmable chip that is embedded directly into a device such as a smartphone or tablet.

eSIM technology allows as many as five virtual SIM cards to be stored on one e-SIM at a time. Going SIM-less also avoids frequent complaints of damage or loss of the cards.

Airtel Uganda Managing Director, Manoj Murali noted that the convenience of using an eSIM is that it provides  flexibility to customers who own devices with such capability.

“Instead of a physical and removable SIM, an eSIM consists of software installed onto an Embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card (eUICC) chip permanently attached to your phone”, Manoj said.

He is also added that the technology is environmental friendly.

“Most importantly the eSIM is environmentally friendly. We are committed to reducing eWaste from our operations as part of our environmental stewardship,” he said.

Being simple to use and secure, the technology has been adopted by brands such as Apple, Samsung, among others.

One of its biggest advantages is that it removes the need for a user to possess more than one phone to access services

How to switch to eSIM

Airtel Uganda customers who have compatible devices may now walk into an Airtel Shop and they will be assisted to make the switch.

Customers who wish to switch their current physical SIM cards to eSIMs will need a compatible device.

By dialing *#06# they will obtain the required QR code.

They also will need a valid National ID. At the Airtel shop, the customers will be guided through a SIM Swap process by Airtel service personnel.

Airtel Uganda is the first telecom company in Uganda to launch eSIMs. eSIMSs are quite useful for those who travel often or need separate phone numbers for personal and business use.

Compatible devices that support eSIMs

iPhone XS, XS Max, XR, iPhone 11 Series, iPhone 12 Series, iPhone 13 Series, iPhone 14 series.

Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, S20 Ultra, S21, S21+, S21 Ultra, Z Flip, and Fold, S22, S22+, S22 Ultra, and the S23 Series.

Airtel Kenya  launched the eSIM services to Kenyan users in February, 2023.

The telco first rolled out eSIM in Nigeria before Kenya. It plans to roll out the product in 14 African countries later.


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