MTN Disconnects over 4 Million Phone Numbers, 17 Million More at Risk, Explains Decision

MTN Disconnects over 4 Million Phone Numbers, 17 Million More at Risk, Explains Decision

  • MTN Nigeria has revealed that it disconnected over 4 million telephone lines over SIM-NIN verification
  • It explained that the disconnection followed the NCC directive to all telecommunication operators in the country
  • MTN Nigeria remained the network with the highest subscribers, with over 30% of the total market share journalist Dave Ibemere has over a decade of business journalism experience with in-depth knowledge of the Nigerian economy, stocks, and general market trends.

Telecommunications giant MTN has disclosed that it disconnected 4.2 million lines from its network.

The company said those affected are subscribers who failed to submit their NIN as directed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

MTN disconnects phone lines
MTN obeys NCC directives to disconnect phone numbers Photo credit: Nurphoto
Source: Getty Images

It disclosed this in its Audited Financial results for the year ended December 31, 2023, published on the NGX on Friday, March 1, 2024.

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More telephone lines at risk

MTN Nsigeria also said that it discovered that 19 million needed verifications, of which 4.3 million have been verified and 4.2 million disconnected as of February 28 2024.

This means about 17 million MTN customers still need to submit their NIN.

Part of the report reads:

“Since the directive, we have approximately 19 million lines going through the verification process, of which 4.3 million have been verified as at 28 February 2024. We also had approximately 4.2 million lines disconnected for which the subscribers did not submit their NIN
"We are actively engaging the authorities to accelerate the NIN verification process. We have also increased our engagement with the affected customers, providing various channels for verification to minimize service disruption.”

The company, however, noted that the disconnected lines so far were low-value subscribers, minimizing the revenue impact.

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MTN reacts as subscribers face network outage: “Fibre cuts affecting voice, data services”

CEO MTN speaks

Commenting on the company's performance in 2023, MTN Nigeria's CEO, Karl Toriola, said the company maintained commercial solid momentum in its connectivity business and platforms, supported by the growth in the user base.

His words:

“We added over 4 million subscribers in 2023, bringing our total base to 79.7 million. We also increased our data subscribers by over five million to 44.6 million, which helped to drive total data traffic growth of 44.9 per cent.
“This reflected the sustained growth in demand for data, supported by our compelling propositions to customers and the consistent investment in the quality and coverage of our network.
“The additional 2600MHz spectrum we acquired in September 2023 also helped us to deploy additional capacity to our network more efficiently."

MTN, others get the go-ahead to block millions of SIM cards

Earlier, reported that the NCC has approved telecommunication companies to block subscribers who have failed to link their phone numbers to their NIN.

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NCC orders MTN, Glo, 9mobile, Airtel to block phone numbers without NIN, confirms date

MTN, Airtel, Glo, 9mobile, and others would begin implementation on Wednesday, February 28, 2024. The affected SIM cards will be unable to make or receive calls and send text messages to other numbers. Those affected can only regain access to their lines if they secure their NIN and link.


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