Business & Investment

Network operators lose 12.4 million Internet subscriptions in 5 months

Nigeria’s mobile network operator (MNO) lost 12.4 million Internet subscriptions between December 2020 and April 2021 due to the recession and a four-month ban on SIM registration.

Data released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCCThe total number of Internet subscribers in Nigeria decreased from 153.8 million recorded in December 2020 to 141.4 million in April and to 144.5 million in March 2021. Did. It also means that 3.1 million subscribers were lost between April and March.

Nigeria remains Africa’s country with the highest number of Internet subscribers, but depreciation will make businesses wonder what to do next. Minister of Communications and Digital Isa Ali Pantami lifted the ban on SIM registration in April and announced the introduction of a revised national SIM policy. Recall that a ban was set in December to allow subscribers to link their national identification number (NIN) to a SIM card. The NCC has also instructed mobile operators to deactivate all SIM cards that are not linked to NIN by December 30, 2020.

Experts said the ban was not necessary as operators continued to sell SIM cards while devising a better strategy to require subscribers to link SIMS to NIN numbers. However, due to the lifting of the ban, a subscriber who once had two SIMs but lost them may have decided to abandon the lost SIM after waiting for it for four months.

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The bigger problem is the weak purchasing power exacerbated by the recession caused by COVID-19. Many lost their jobs during the blockade and were unable to get another job after the federal government lifted the blockade and opened the economy. If anything, inflation is rising, food inflation is above 22%, and Nigeria ranks among the top 10 countries with the highest inflation rates in the world.

Data bundles have been cheaper in recent months as operators struggle to keep buying data for their subscribers, but the bigger challenge is that many people have high incomes, high food inflation and prices. It is also growing due to other basic necessities such as clothing, shelter, transportation, education, etc. It has also risen significantly in recent years.

According to NCC data, MTN and Globacom were the biggest losers with 1.1 million and 1.09 million, respectively. MTN had 61.5 million Internet subscribers in April, but Globacom’s subscribers dropped from 38.8 million last month to 37.7 million. Interestingly, both were the biggest voice subscriber losers in April. In both cases, the total number of subscribers has decreased to the level of June 2020.

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Network operators lose 12.4 million Internet subscriptions in 5 months Network operators lose 12.4 million Internet subscriptions in 5 months

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