Nigeria’s Active Mobile Subscriptions Dip To 225.8 Million In March
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reported that telecommunication mobile services subscriptions in the country declined by 0.4 per cent to 225.8 million in March 2023 from the 226.8 million subscriptions recorded in the preceding month.
The commission’s latest industry statistics indicated the huge drop in subscriptions rate in the month under review was due to about 1.1 million subscription loss recorded by MTN following its deactivation of SIMs that had not been linked to subscribers’ National Identification Number (NIN) as mandated by the industry regulators.
According to the telecom industry regulator, due to the huge drop in the number of active telephone lines in March, the country’s teledensity, which measures the number of active telephone connections per 100 inhabitants living within an area, also slumped to 118.48 per cent in March 2023 from 119.01 per cent in February.
The report reflected that MTN, which is the largest operator by subscriber number, recorded a 1.1 million decline in its subscriptions, thereby dipping its total active subscriptions to 91.6 million from the 92.7 million it recorded in February 2023.
However, Glo recorded an increase of 44,850 in its subscriptions in the month under review, thus raising its total subscriptions to 60.79 million, up from 60.75 million recorded in February and enabling it to maintain its position as the second largest operator by subscriber number in March 2023.
Similarly, Airtel also gained 28,420 new subscriptions in the month, which brought the telco’s total subscriptions to 60.32 million from 60.30 million in February just as 9Mobile recorded the highest gain in March as its database grew by 67,266. The telco’s total active subscriptions rose to 13.14 million in March from 13.07 million in February this year
The mobile services subscriptions data also showed that the drop in subscriptions was the first to be recorded in the industry over the past one year after the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) recovered from the devastating impact of the 2020 NIN-SIM policy, which led to a loss of over 20 million subscriptions across the networks.
Specifically, the policy requires every telecom subscriber to link their SIM with their NIN effective from December 2020. As of November 2020, subscriptions across the networks stood at 207.5 million but plunged to 188.9 million in August 2021 due to the constraints in the implementation of the policy nationwide