According to statistics released on Monday by telecommunications regulatory agency, the Nigerian Communications Commission, a total of 51,464,799 telecommunications lines are now dormant.
The statistics showed that as of April 30, 2015, the number of connected lines in the networks of all telecommunications operators in the country stood at 196,941,125 while the number of active lines stood at 145,476,326.
This means that a total of 51,464,799 lines were dormant. This shows a dormancy rate (or churn rate) of 26.13 per cent.
One year ago, the churn rate stood at 27.03 per cent although in absolute numbers, fewer lines were dormant.
As of April 30, 2014, the number of connected lines stood at 177,329,661 while the number of active lines stood at 129,391,392.
This means that 47,938,269 were dormant a year ago.
The statistics also showed that the networks added a total of 16,084,934 lines within the one year period. This reflects a growth rate of 12.38 per cent.
Segmenting the active lines according to technology showed that GSM operators had the largest chunk of lines as GSM lines accounted for 143,057,234. Mobile Code Division Multiple Access operators accounted for 2,234,302 lines. Fixed operators accounted for 184,790 lines.
A number of reasons account for the high rate of inactivity in lines provided by digital mobile networks operating in the country.
These include the poor services which have characterised the networks in recent times.
Many subscribers who have been frustrated by the poor quality of services rendered by the operators find it more convenient to abandon their lines rather than carry phones that do not work when they need service desperately. They could switch to another service provider.
Another reason for the high rate of dormant lines in the networks is the high rate of promotions targeted at attracting new subscribers. Occasionally, these promotions produce many lines which the subscribers do not really need.
The introduction of Mobile Number Portability in May 2013 was expected to stem the tide of high churn rate as subscribers could still retain their number when they move to another network they dim to be more efficient.
Number portability is an application that enables subscribers to migrate from one service provider to another without losing their numbers. It was introduced in by NCC as a means to keep operators on their toes in terms of rendering quality services.
However, the churn rate has remained high. As of May 2013 when MNP was introduced, the number of active lines stood at 117,765,609 as against 150,888,100 connected mobile lines. This gives a dormancy rate of 33,122,491 or 21.95 per cent as against the 26.13 per cent recorded as of April 2015. Agency report