SIM Registration Ban: MTN, Glo and others lose over 3.5 million internet subscribers in one month

nigeria telecom operators

Telecommunication companies in Nigeria have lost a total of 3,552,207 internet subscribers in just one month, latest data from the Nigerian Communications Commission reveals.

According to the data from the commission, the total number of internet subscribers in Nigeria declined from 148.13 million as at February 2021 to 144.58 million in March 2021, indicating a decrease of about 2.4% month-on-month.

The recent data also revealed that the total number of internet subscribers in Nigeria have been declining since November 2020, when it peaked at 154.4 million. Experts have attributed this decline to the recent suspension of SIM card sales and registration in the country, as Nigerians grapple with the stress of registering for and obtaining their national identity numbers.

Naijabusiness.com.ng understands that the four major telecommunications companies in Nigeria (MTN, Airtel, Glo and 9mobile) lost atleast 11.8 million customers since the implementation of NIN-SIM card ban by the Federal Government of Nigeria in December 2020.

The breakdown of what the major telecos lost in the last one month are succinctly captured below;

  • MTN Nigeria
  • MTN Nigeria lost a total of 1,267,859 subscribers between February and March, 2021. At the end of March 2021, MTN had 61.57 million internet subscribers compared to a total of 62.84 million subscribers in the preceding month-February 2021.

It is also pertinent to state that since the commencement of the NIN-SIM card ban in December 2020, the most capitalized telecommunication company in Nigeria have so far recorded a loss of 4.67 million subscribers.

  • Airtel
  • The total number of internet subscribers under the Airtel network stands at 37.78 million as at March 2021. This indicates a loss of about 1.18 million subscribers compared to what it posted in the preceding month.

Since December 2020, Airtel’s internet subscribers have slumped by 8.5%, translating to a loss of about 3.51 million subscribers during the period.

Globacom: Between December 2020 and March 2021, Globacom lost a total of about 1.3 million internet subscribers, from an initial internet subscribers’ tally of 40.11 million to 38.81 million.  In the last one month, the loss has moderated to about 892,821 subscribers.

9mobile The total number of internet subscribers for 9mobile as at March 2021 stood at 6.42 million, compared to 6.6 million recording in the preceding month of February, translating to a loss of about 214,070 subscribers.