MTN maintains lead despite drop in Nigeria’s active voice subscriptions

MTN Nigeria maintains its leadership position as Nigeria’s biggest telecom provider with the highest number of active voice subscriptions despite a decline in the total number of active voice subscriptions nationwide in the first quarter of 2024.

According to latest statistics released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the total number of active voice subscriptions nationwide decreased by 3.03 per cent, falling from 226,161,713 in the first quarter of 2023 to 219,304,281 due to the enforcement of the policy requiring SIM cards to be linked with the National Identification Number (NIN) or be fully barred.

On a quarterly basis, the total number of active voice subscriptions nationwide decreased by 2.41 per cent, falling from 224,713,710 in the fourth quarter of 2023.

MTN recorded 81,799,666 active subscriptions, making it the leading telecom operator in Nigeria. With 63,357,061 active voice subscriptions, Airtel holds a substantial share of the market. It is followed by GLO, which recorded 62,191,448 active voice subscriptions.

While EMTS (9mobile) had 11,657,703 active voice subscriptions, SMILE managed to maintain 175,711 active voice subscriptions in the first quarter of 2024.

Recall that telecommunications operators in Nigeria, including MTN, Airtel, and Globacom, among others, were directed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to implement full network barring on all phone lines for which the subscribers have not submitted their national identification numbers (NINs) by February 28, 2024.

In addition, those who had submitted their NINs but have not been verified are also to be fully barred. About NINs that have been submitted but not verified, such lines are to be barred on or before 29 March 2024, where five or more lines are linked to an unverified NIN.

Similarly, where less than five lines are linked to an unverified NIN, such lines are to be barred on or before 15 April 2024.

MTN Nigeria recently said that it fully barred a total of 8.6 million lines from the network in line with the directive of the NCC on SIMs not linked to the NIN of the users.

However, to provide more time for the subscribers with less than five lines linked to an unverified NIN to complete the necessary verification exercise, MTN disclosed that the NCC has extended the 15 April deadline to 31 July 20.