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Telcos report 993,063 subscriber loss in Feb

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Telecoms operators in Nigeria lost about a million mobile subscribers last February, New Telegraph has learnt. This is according to the latest subscriber data released by the telecoms regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). According to the industry data, from 155,113,547 active subscribers last January, general industry subscriptions went down to 154,120,484 at the end of February.

GSM operators, including MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat, with 154,660,446 in January crashed to 153,661,547 as the end of February, this year. Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) subscriptions remained the same for the two months period while fixed wire/wireless network grew their meager subscriptions from 151,088 to 151,500. Also, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) subscriptions increased from 84,447 to 89,871, according to the NCC report. Meanwhile, teledensity, which is the number of mobile lines per hundred people in an area, slipped from 110.80 per cent in January to 110.09 per cent in February.

The NCC report, however, indicates that the total number of connected lines in the country, whether active or dormant, increased from 238.64 million to 239.58 million from January and February.

New Telegraph learnt that the drop in active telecoms subscribers has further increased the number of inactive lines in the industry. According to the analysis of the data, the country now has over 85.46 million dormant mobile lines, resulting in loss of N152.8 billion revenue by mobile networks. According to telecoms analyst, Mr. Akin Akinbo, “If a subscribers abandoned his or her registered line instead of using same to access mobile services, the affected operator is losing potential revenue and this, I believe, runs into billions of Naira monthly.

“Competition in the telecoms sector is getting keener by the day and this makes subscribers have the tendency to change their existing line for another preferred network, since they now have multiple options,” said President, Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Mr. Olusola Teniola, told New Telegraph on phone. According to him, if subscribers find better tariff plans or a more quality service on a new network, “they can switch freely and then keep the old line in inactive mode, if they choose to.”

Asked to react to the potential losses, President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS), Mr. Deolu Ogunbanjo, explained, “Phone operator sells a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) to a customer and gets him connected on its network, the intention is to start generating revenue from the subscriber anytime the subscriber loads its account with airtime to access services.”

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