- Many Nigerians failed to renew their internet data subscription for the greater part of 2021 due to their inability to link their SIM to their NIN
- MTN, Airtel, Glo and 9Mobile all witnessed a slump in mobile data subscription as they also saw their services shutdown in many parts of Nigeria
- Experts have said the directive by the Ministry of Communications to shutdown telecom activities in most parts of Nigeria may be to blame
The directive to link subscribers phone numbers to their National Identity Number (NIN) may have caused telecoms operators a great deal in 2021.
The number of internet subscribers in Nigeria went down by 10.9 million from January to November in 2021, data from the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) said.
According to NCC’s data, the number of internet subscribers fell from 151.3 million to 140.4 million in November 2021.
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Punch reports that the data also said mobile subscriptions dropped the most while fixed-wired subscribers and VoIP subscriptions contributed a small number.
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GSM operators bear the brunt
Mobile data subscribers who fail from 150.9 million to 140.1 million in November 2021.
Internet subscribers went more for mobile data subscriptions than any other internet subscription in Nigeria.
MTN bore the most brunt as it saw its mobile data subscription drop.
From 64 million subscribers in January, MTN data subscribers fell to 58.1 million in November 2021.
Airtel saw its mobile data subscribers drop from 40 million in January to 26.9 million in November 2021.
Glo trailed behind as it saw its mobile data subscription go down from 40 million in January to 39.3 million in November 2021. 9Mobile witnessed a drop in mobile data subscriptions from 6.9 million in January to 5.8 million in November 2021.
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The slump has been attributed mostly to the directive by the Ministry of Communication that subscribers link their SIM cards to their NIN.
Experts say many subscribers who were unable to link their SIM to their NIN could not renew their data subscriptions for fear of their SIM being blocked by the NCC.
Impacted by telecom shutdowns
Also, telecom shutdowns in parts of the country have been blamed for the slum. Nigerian government directed states affected by insecurity mostly in the North to shut down Telecom activities in order to curtail banditry and other forms of insecurity in the region.
Subscribers ask more time
According to the minister of communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, as of December 10, 2021, over 70 million unique national identity number enrolments have been recorded in the country.
Punch Newspaper reports that he disclosed this in his speech at the fifth-generation spectrum auction in Abuja on Monday, December 13.