Telcos: Down By Over Three Million Subscribers

Reports by Nigeria’s tecommunication control agency, the Nigerian Telecommunication Commission, NCC, has it that the country’s telemmunicayions companies suffered over three million subscriber blip in the month of April. The information is contained in a release made available by the NCC on Tuesday.
According to the NCC, telcos’overall subscriber base which stood at 192,413,613 in March, dropped in 188,705,734. Specifically, Globacom which was hardest hit, shed about two million subscribers in the month under review followed by MTN with one million deficit. Airtel and 9mobile followed with less than half a million apiece.
The latest figures released by NCC appear to be following the depreciation trend which began in 2020. For instance, in November 2020, telcos’ subscriber base dropped from 207,907,709 to 188,705,734 in 2021, shedding well over 19 million subscribers with MTN being the worst hit. The group lost 7,202, 757 of its subscribers. Airtel, Globacom and 9mobile followed with 7,054,115; 4,490,531; and 408,904 losses respectively.
The release by the NCC also indicated that broadband penetration followed the same downward trajectory, dropping from 41.18% in March to 40.66% in April. The trend, according to industry watchers is attributable to the sector’s loss of more than one million data subscribers in the month under review. In addition, NCC disclosed that none of the Telecommunication providers recorded any porting services since January.
Following security concerns, the federal government banned the sale, issuance and registration of new SIM cards in December 2020. Following the ban, the country’s Telecommunications control agency issued a December 30 deadline for all subscribers to link their sim card with their national identification number under the SIM-NIN policy. However, the deadline was later shifted to June 30, 2021.
Telecommunications watchers are of the opinion that the impact of both the ban on registration and subsequent order to link sim cards with NIN played a huge role in the depreciation of telcos subscriber base.

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