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MTN lifts Nigeria’s mobile subscribers to 148 million — highest in 14 months

MTN lifts Nigeria’s mobile subscribers to 148 million — highest in 14 months
June 02
11:26 2022

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says the country’s internet subscribers rose to 148.10 million in April 2022.

The commission said this in a recent update of industry statistics posted on its website.

Of the total figure, mobile (GSM) accounted for 147.45 million subscribers — leaving Fixed Wire and VoIP for the remaining subscribers.

According to the data, the total number of active mobile (GSM) internet subscribers increased to 147.45 million at the end of April 2022 — after recording the lowest in July 2021 at 139.38 million.

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In December 2020, the federal government directed telecommunications companies to suspend the sales and reactivation of new SIM cards.

The policy denied new entrants into the country access to purchase mobile lines as well as existing users who want to retrieve their lost lines.

The government had premised the decision on the audit of the subscriber registration database in the country at the height of security challenges – banditry and kidnapping.

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By the end of the first quarter of 2021, the policy had stifled the telecoms industry with single-digit growth.

The regulatory restrictions impacted the operations of telcos, posting declines in mobile subscriptions and revenue.

The government, however, lifted the ban in April but mandated the use of national identification numbers (NINs) for the issuance of new SIM cards.

In April 2022, the federal government directed telecommunication companies to bar outgoing calls on all subscriber identity module (SIM) cards not yet linked with the NIN.

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TheCable had reported that deactivated subscribers are already lamenting the frustrations of not being able to make calls.

In the month under review, analysis by TheCable Index showed that all mobile networks recorded an increase in internet subscriptions — except 9mobile.

Further checks showed that MTN Nigeria’s internet subscribers increased by 1.1 million, Airtel increased by 918,191 and Globacom increased by 331,360 in April 2022.

9mobile, on the other hand, dropped over 108,000 internet subscribers for the period under review — its lowest of all time.

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