Why Telecom Operators subscribers kept dropping- NCC


Olamilekan Okeowo

As MTN, Glo others loss 12m subscribers in 6 months 

The Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders’ Management at Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Mr. Sunday Dare has attributed the continuous decline in the number of telecoms subscribers in Nigeria to shunning, consolidation and recession. 

He further explained that subscribers refuse to make calls for as long as 90 days and in turn get automatically deactivated. 

Aside from this, most subscribers with more than one line drop some lines and stick to one line, since they can do data and voice from a single line across other networks. 

Then the economic recession has made consumers to reduce their spending on recharge cards and devise other means of communication through social media platforms like WhatsApp and Skype, which are free and driven by over the top technology (OTT). 

According to the data from the NCC website, the drop in active subscribers is being faced by all networks. MTN, Globacom, Airtel and 9mobile all experienced a drop to in active subscribers to 53.1 million, 37.4 million, 34.1 million and 18.2 million respectively. While their respective market share now stands at 37.21%, 26.22%, 23.92% and 12.63% respectively. 

Stakeholders have attributed the poor quality of service, the high cost of data and unexplained frequent deductions in account balance as possible reasons for this occurrence and have called on the NCC to address the situation at its early stage before it gets out of hand. 

Recall that recently expressed worry over the continuous decline in the number of telecoms subscribers in Nigeria from 155 million in January 2017 to 143 million as at the end of June 2017. 


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