MTN Disconnects 8.6m Lines Since Feb 28

MTN Disconnects 8.6m Lines Since Feb 28

MTN Nigeria has removed 8.6 million lines from its network, in compliance with the February 28, 2024 ruling of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) mandating telecommunication companies to disconnect SIM cards not associated with the National Identity Number (NIN).

The company revealed this in its first quarter (Q1) 2024 financial report, stating that it had an effect on the quarter’s operations.

MTN claimed that users with more than five lines connected to an unverified NIN and users who failed to submit their NIN are the ones whose lines have been completely banned.

However, MTN revealed that the NCC has extended the deadline from April 15 to July 31, 2024, to provide users with fewer than five lines connected to an unverified NIN additional time to finish the required verification exercise.

MTN Nigeria’s CEO, Karl Toriola, while speaking on the impact of the NIN-SIM linkage exercise and the regulatory directive on the sector, said: “During the quarter, we also continued to manage the effects on our business of the industry-wide directive of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for a full barring of subscriber lines not linked to their National Identity Number (NIN) – the NIN-SIM directive.


“This impacted the development of our user base across all of our key business units (voice, data, and fintech) in Q1 2024. Although we had to fully bar 8.6 million subscribers in line with the directive, we minimised the net effect of the barred subscribers, and our total number of subscribers only decreased by 2 million in Q1, closing with a total of 77.7 million subscribers.”


According to Toriola, this proved the worth of the business’s customer value management (CVM) programs, which aided in churn reduction, customer retention, and the growth of gross connections.


Data from the NCC show that total active mobile subscriptions in Nigeria across the networks of MTN, Airtel, Globacom and 9mobile, which stood at 224.4 million in December 2023 had declined to 219 million as of March 2024 as all the telecom operators implemented the policy on the mandatory NIN-SIM linkage.


“MTN also reported a decline in its data subscribers in the quarter under review. Active data subscribers declined marginally by approximately 78,000 to 44.5 million. Notwithstanding these headwinds, we recorded increased activity within the base, with voice traffic rising by 5.1 per cent and data traffic by 40.6 per cent. This is a result of the consistent growth in demand for data and voice, supported by our attractive offers to customers and continuous investment in network quality and coverage,” Toriola stated



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