MTN Loses 7.3 Million Subscriptions Over NIN-SIM Linkage

MTN Loses 7.3 Million Subscriptions Over NIN-SIM Linkage

South African multinational corporation and mobile telecommunications provider,MTN reportedly experienced a significant decline of 7.3 million active subscriptions in January 2024.

Recent industry data indicated that this drop occurred as a result of complying with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)’s directive to deactivate SIM cards that were not linked with National Identification Numbers (NINs).

Naija News recalls that in December 2023, the NCC instructed all telecommunication operators, including MTN, Airtel, Globacom, and 9mobile, to implement a full network barring on phone lines without submitted NINs by February 28, 2024.

Subscribers who provided their NINs but were not validated were threatened with complete deactivation.

For unverified NINs with five or more connected lines, the NCC threatened deactivation would take place by March 29, 2024. Similarly, lines with fewer than five connections to an unverified NIN would be deactivated by April 15, 2024.

MTN’s active subscriptions dropped from 87 million in December 2023 to 79.7 million in January, resulting in a loss of approximately 7.3 million subscriptions, as per the most recent NCC data.

In line with the NCC’s directive regarding NIN-SIM linking, MTN announced that it has deactivated 4.2 million connections.

The company stated that it has verified a total of 19 million lines since the NCC implemented a regulation in December 2023 mandating the disconnection of subscriber lines not linked to their NIN.

By February 28, 2024, Naloaded News understands that 4.3 million lines had been verified, while 4.2 million had been disconnected.

9mobile also experienced a decrease in subscriptions in January this year, with a decline of 135,788 to 13.7 million subscribers.

Despite the ongoing disconnection process, Airtel and Globacom observed slight growth in their monthly subscriber bases. Airtel welcomed 767,887 new customers, increasing from 61.8 million in December of the previous year to 62.6 million in January.

The number of subscribers in Globacom’s database increased by 321,869, reaching a total of 61.9 million in December. This indicates a growth in subscriptions.

However, Nigeria’s overall number of active mobile service subscriptions decreased by over six million in January 2024, totalling 218 million compared to 224.4 million in December 2023.

As a result of this decline in active connections, the country’s teledensity, which measures the number of active telephone connections per 100 inhabitants in a given area, also decreased.

In January 2024, the teledensity stood at 100.75, down from 103.66 per cent recorded in December of the previous year.

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