NIN-SIM Linkage: Telcos Lost 12 Million Internet Subscribers In 2021 – NCC

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The Nigerian Communications Commission, on Friday, said telecommunication companies lost a total of 12 million internet subscribers in 2021 due to the national identification number linkage policy.

NCC made this known in its latest report titled, “2021 subscriber/network data annual report.”

It said the number of internet subscribers decreased from 154,301,195 subscriptions as of December 2020 to 141,971,560 subscriptions as of December 2021 representing a decline of 8 per cent.

This, according to the report, was due to the directive to suspend the sales and registration of new SIMs across the country.

Recall, in December 2020, NCC had given telecommunications companies a two-week ultimatum to block SIM cards not registered with National Identification Number.

The Federal Government later extended the deadline from December 2020 to January 2021 to enable subscribers with NIN to link it up; while those without NIN had till February 9, 2021.

The NCC report said subscriber number decreased from 204,601,313 subscribers in 2020 to 195,463,898 active voice subscriptions as of December 2021 “with a loss of 9,137,415 subscriptions”.

“This represents about 4.46 per cent decline in total subscription within the period under consideration,” it added.

“The decrease in operators’ subscriber base was attributed majorly to the effect of the directive from NCC in December 2020 to all GSM operators to suspend the sale and registration of new SIMS, SIM swaps and all porting activities.

“The objective of the audit exercise was to verify and ensure compliance by mobile network operators with the set quality standards and requirements of SIM card registration as issued by the federal ministry of communications and digital economy and the commission.”

“Nigeria’s teledensity decreased from 107.18 per cent as of December 2020 to 102.40 per cent by December 31 2021,” the report said.

In the period under review, the commission said broadband penetration also decreased from 45.02 per cent as of December 2020 to 40.88 per cent as of December 2021.

Similarly, broadband subscriptions decreased from 85,941,222 subscriptions in December 2020 to 78,041,883 subscriptions as of December 2021.

On the level of data usage, the NCC said, “There was an increase in the volume of data consumed in the year-end December 2021 when compared with the year ended December 2020”.

“The total volume of data consumed by subscribers increased to 353,118.89 terabytes as of December 2021 from 209,917.40TB as of December 2020. This represents an increase of 68.2 per cent in data consumption within the period.”

It added that the telecoms industry contribution to the gross domestic products was 12.45 per cent in the fourth quarter, of 2020 compared to 12.61 per cent in Q4 of 2021.

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