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Nigeria records 770+ new mobile subscriptions

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By Abraham Adekunle

NCC announces that the total number of subscriptions hit 220.5M in July 2023.

As Nigeria continues on its path towards mobile coverage, the country has recorded 770,889 new active mobile subscriptions in July 2023. This is according to a report by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). The number was recorded across the major networks in the country, which are MTN, Globacom, Airtel, and 9mobile. The figure represents a notable increase of 0.35 percent from 219.7 million recorded in June 2023. The increase comes as a welcome change following four consecutive months of declining subscriptions.

Cumulative active subscriptions across these networks were registered at 219.7 million as of June 2023. However, the number rose to 220.5 million. The data revealed that MTN played a pivotal role in the upward review. The telecom network acquired a substantial 678,008 new subscriptions during the period. With this surge in actively connected lines, Nigeria teledensity, which measures the number of active telephone connections per 100 inhabitants within a given area, also experienced a slight increase.

Stats indicate a positive trend in Nigeria telecom sector.

Teledensity climbed from 115.30 percent in June to 115.70 percent in July. These statistics indicate that there is a positive trend in the country’s mobile sector as it reflects the ongoing demand for mobile services. According to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), it was also revealed that the calculation of teledensity, which measures active telephone connections per 100 inhabitants, is based on a population estimate of 190 million in Nigeria instead of the estimated 213+ million people living in Nigeria.

In the area of performance, MTN is the biggest contributor to active mobile subscriptions for the month of July. The firm significantly contributed to the growth of the industry’s database, according to the commission. In July, MTN gained 678,008 new subscriptions, increasing its total active subscriptions from 84.6 million, as of June 2023, to 85.3 million. 9mobile also experienced growth in its subscriber base. It gained an additional 176,105 new subscriptions. This increase raised its total active connected lines from 13.5 million in June to 13.7 million.

Performance reports of major telecom firms in Nigeria.

Globacom witnessed an uptick in its subscriptions as well. It added 23,565 new subscribers during the month. As a result, their total subscriptions climbed to 61.4 million. However, in contrast to these gains, Airtel – the third-largest operator in terms of subscriber numbers – saw a decline in subscriptions during the same period. The company’s database contracted by 106,789, bringing their total subscriptions down to 60 million. This fluctuation in subscriber numbers among these major operators reflects the dynamic nature of Nigerian mobile telecommunications industry.

This means that users can migrate from one service to another as they see fit. The recent marginal gain in mobile subscriptions during July has made analysts speculate that mobile operators in Nigeria may have completed the disconnection of lines registered by subscribers under the age of 18. This disconnection initiative is believed to be the primary reason behind the consistent decline in subscriptions observed between March and June of this year. This is because the NCC had revised its guidelines and raised the age requirement for SIM card ownership from 16 years to 18 years. So, individuals under the age of 18 are prohibited from registering a SIM card.

The commission gives a rationale for this policy.

Explaining the rationale behind this age adjustment, NCC released a statement in October 2021 when the regulation was first introduced. It stated that it aimed to safeguard minors in the country. The commission emphasized that this move aligns with the Nigerian constitution, which designates 18 as the age at which a Nigerian can enter into a contractual relationship. Furthermore, the NCC clarified that acquiring a SIM card constitutes a contractual agreement between service providers and their subscribers. To engage in such contracts, subscribers are required to be of a legal age, demonstrate maturity, and be of sound mind to undertake specific responsibilities, obligations, and liabilities as stipulated by a contract.

Related Link

NCC: Website

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