Nigeria’s telephone subscriber base declined by 5.77 per cent or 11.50 million telephone lines from 199.31 million subscribers in July 2020 to 187.81 million subscribers as of July 2021.
This is according to data gotten from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) portal.
In July 2020, the number of active telephone lines was 199.31 million, 104.41 per cent of the population estimate.
In August 2020, it increased to 203.53 million, 106.62 per cent of the population. In September 2020, it increased to 205.25 million, 107.52 per cent of the population. In October 2020, it increased to 207.96 million, 108.94 per cent of the population.
By November 2020, it fell marginally to 108.92 per cent of the population to 207.91 million. In December 2020, it fell significantly to 204.60 million, 107.18 per cent of the population.
The fall continued to January 2021 (200.21 million, 104.89 per cent of the population).
In February 2021, the subscriber was 196.08 million, 102.72 per cent of the population. In March 2021, it was 192.41 million, 100.80 per cent of the population. In April 2021, it was 188.71 million, 98.86 per cent of the population. In May 2021, it was 187.03 million, 97.98 per cent of the population.
It rose slightly in June and July 2021 to 187.61 million, 98.28 per cent of the population, and 187.81 million, 98.39 per cent of the population respectively.
Over the time period, GSM providers lost the most subscribers.
In July 2020, there were 198.96 million active GSM lines. By July 2021, the number had reduced to 187.47 million subscribers, showing a loss of 11.49 million lines.
The requirement by the Federal Government that subscribers should link their National Identity Numbers with their SIM cards could have been a major factor responsible for the loss of the decline in the subscriber base.
Within a considerable period of time, telecoms operators were barred from selling new lines and replacing lost SIM cards.
When the ban began in December, 2020, telcos had 204.15 million subscribers. When the ban was lifted in April, they had lost 15.77 million subscribers.
Telecommunication companies gained 1.5 million subscribers in the month of August, according to new industry statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission released on Monday.
The total number of subscribers grew from 187,470,860 in July to 189,330,257 in August, suggesting a growth by 1,525,020.
This is a continuous growth from the month of June when telcos started witnessing subscriber growth after the effect of SIM ban sale began to diminish.
In April this year, the Federal Government approved the activation of new SIM card registration with the mandatory NIN linkage.
Just as the total subscriber base increased, the number of internet subscribers increased from 139,384,180 in July to 140,225,598 in August, showing an increase of 841,418.
Broadband penetration also increased from 39.79 per cent to 41 per cent, moving from 75,952,406 in July to 78,255,250 in August.
Subscribers continued to port as 3,327 subscribers ported between the networks, an increase from the 734 subscribers that ported in July.
More subscribers ported to MTN, with 2,014 subscribers, followed by Airtel with 1,089 subscribers, and lastly, 9Mobile with 224 subscribers.
In general, MTN dominated the telecoms market with 73,133,330 subscribers, followed by Globacom with 51,983,266 subscribers, then Airtel and 9Mobile with 50,860,024 and 13,021,179 subscribers respectively.