As of May 2022, Nigerian mobile network operators had 301.5 million lines connected to their networks. SIM cards from MTN, Airtel, Globacom, and 9Mobile are among them.
According to data released by the Nigerian Communications Commission, only 204.2 million of these numbers were in active use (NCC). This means that 97.3 million lines on the networks were rendered inactive.
A mobile line is considered inactive if the subscriber does not use it to make or receive calls or access data services for at least 90 days. These lines are distinguished from active lines because they generate no revenue for telecom operators during the specified time period.
This means that telecom operators only received revenue from 68 per cent of their customers in May.
Although the number of inactive lines on networks remains high, it has decreased significantly over the last ten months. As of August 2021, there were 139 million inactive lines on the network.
While telecom operators have always had inactive lines as active users and new activations increased, the ban on new SIM registration and the inability of many subscribers to retrieve their lines between December 9, 2020, and April 19, 2021, exacerbated the situation as abandoned lines continued to pile up each month.
Meanwhile, the gradual reduction in the number of inactive lines could be attributed to the NCC’s new SIM policy.
In the recently implemented number management policy, the NCC stated that subscribers whose lines had been inactive for 12 months would forfeit them.
“Subscriber numbers that have not generated revenue by originating calls will automatically be recovered after 12 consecutive months”, the Commission stated in the new policy document.
Recall that, The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has disclosed that as of March this year, 107 million mobile lines connected to the networks of MTN, Globacom, Airtel, and 9mobile have been dormant.
According to the Commission’s most recent subscriber data, the four telecom operators had a total of N306.3 million linked lines as of March. However, after the month, there were 199.2 million active lines throughout the networks.
This means that telecom providers generated income from 65% of their linked lines throughout the month.
A mobile line is considered inactive if the subscriber does not use it to make or receive calls or access data services for at least 90 days. These lines are distinguished from active lines since they generate no money for telecom carriers during the specified period.