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NIN-SIM Linkage: Telcos lose 12.33m internet subscribers in 2021



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The number of internet subscriptions fell from 154.29 million as of December 2020 to 141.96 million as of December 2021, figures from the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) show.

This represents an eight per cent decline on a year-on-year analysis.

The figure is contained in the commission’s 2021 Subscriber/Network Data Annual Report released on Thursday.

The report read in part, “As at December, 2021, the total active Internet subscriptions decreased from 154,289,727 subscriptions as at December 2020 to 141,959,496 subscriptions. This indicates a (eight per cent) decline in Total Active Internet Subscriptions Year on Year”.

MTN Nigeria Plc recorded the biggest loss of Internet subscribers (6,546,878) in 2021. The company began 2021 with 65,359,306 subscribers and ended with 58,812,428 subscribers.

Airtel lost 3,761,109 Internet subscribers, as the number of Internet subscribers dropped to 37,526,624 at the end of the year from 41,287,733 recorded in the previous year.

Globacom lost 581,390 Internet subscribers, as the number of its Internet subscribers fell to 39,525,269 at the end of the year from 40,106,659.

Others like EMTS, Smile, and NTEL lost 1,367,386, 63,961, and 9,507 subscribers respectively.

Based on the figures, all the service providers in the mobile GSM and VoIP technology segment experienced loss in subscriptions in 2021.

The report said the reason for the decline is linked to the suspension of the sale, registration and activation of new Subscriber Identity Modules.

The report read, “The Operators attributed the decline majorly to the FG’s directive to suspend the Sale, Registration and Activation of new SIMs.”

In its half-year report, MTN said, “Mobile subscribers declined by 7.6 million to 68.9 million, impacted by the regulatory restrictions on new SIM sales and activations.”


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