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SIM Registration Suspension Cost Telcos Eight Million Subscribers In Three Months

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Major telecommunication companies in Nigeria lost eight million data subscribers in three months due to suspension of SIM cards sales and registration.

Information gathered from Nigeria Communications Commission revealed that between the months of March and May 2021, MTN, Airtel, Glo, and 9mobile had lost over 8 million data subscribers.

The four major telecommunications companies providing internet services lost 1.27 million data subscribers in May 2021, lost 3.17 million in April 2021, and lost 3.55 million subscribers in March 2021.

As of February 2021, MTN, Airtel, Glo, and 9mobile had a total of 148,133,233 subscribers, the numbers dropped to 141.41 million as of April 2021, and further dropped by the end of May 2021, to 140.13 million.

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Data subscriber base in Nigeria has been on a persistent downturn since the NIN-SIM ban.

While Airtel lost 2.84 million data subscribers within the period, MTN Nigeria lost 2.64 million data subscribers.

Globacom and 9mobile, also experienced the drought, as they lost a total of 2.112 million and 415,905 data subscribers respectively within the same period.

MTN, Airtel, Glo, and 9mobile lost over 3.55 million data subscribers in March 2021.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), had in December, 2020, directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to embark on another audit of the Subscriber Registration Database.

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Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) were then directed to immediately suspend the sale, registration and activation of new SIM Cards until the audit exercise was concluded.

At the completion of its audit, the NCC on April 19, 2021, lifted the ban on the sales of SIM cards nationwide.

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