Telcos witness increase in subscriptions, hits 219.7m in February

Credit: Gistmania

Telecommunications companies have experienced significant growth, with active mobile subscriptions in Nigeria reaching 219.7 million in February 2024.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) disclosed this in its latest industry report released recently.

The increase follows a dip of over 6 million subscriptions in January due to the implementation of the NIN-SIM directive by the NCC.

Industry data indicates that active subscriptions across the four major mobile networks—MTN, Airtel, Globacom, and 9mobile—decreased from 224.4 million in December 2023 to 218 million in January 2024.

MTN and Airtel, two major players in the telecommunications sector, recorded substantial gains, while Globacom saw a slight increase in subscriptions. However, the struggling fourth operator, 9mobile, experienced a decline in subscriptions.

MTN, holding the largest market share, gained 1.1 million new subscriptions in February, bringing its total to 80.9 million, according to NCC data.

Airtel also saw an increase, adding 434,175 new subscriptions, bringing its total to 63 million in February, up from 62.6 million in January.

Globacom recorded a modest gain, adding 176,756 new subscriptions in February, totaling 62.1 million, compared to 61.9 million the previous month.

Conversely, 9mobile lost 151,517 subscriptions in February, totaling 13.6 million active subscriptions, down from 13.8 million in January.

Telecom operators are expected to disconnect more lines this month, potentially leading to a decline in the country’s mobile subscriptions.

In December last year, the NCC directed all telecom operators, including MTN, Airtel, and Globacom, to fully bar phone lines for which subscribers have not submitted their National Identification Numbers (NINs) by February 28, 2024.

The directive also instructed operators to bar lines whose NINs have been submitted but not verified by March 29, 2024, and to bar those with less than five lines linked to an unverified NIN by April 15, 2024.

The mandatory linking of NINs with mobile lines is part of the government’s efforts to enhance security by curbing the misuse of multiple SIM cards for illicit activities.

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