By Samuel Bankole
Nigeria’s mobile phone subscribers declined 1.92 percent in April to 188,70 million in April from 192.41 million in March, data released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Tuesday showed.
This translates to 3.71 million loss of subscribers between March and April, by the mobile network providers going by the data released by the industry regulator.
The subscriber base of the telecommunication companies has consistently dropped since November last year when it peaked at 207.91 million and declined to 204.52 million in December, 200.21 million in January, 196.08 million in February and 192.41 million in March.
Industry observers said the decline in the number of subscribers of mobile telephone may not be unconnected with the suspension of SIM card sales by the regulator as a result of the ongoing registration for National Identity Number (NIN) by phone subscribers across the country.
Though sales of SIM card has been lifted by the government, many subscribers have not been able to obtain their NIN while some have lost their SIM and were not able to replace such without the NIN.
A breakdown of the market share by the telecom firms showed that the Nigerian unit of the South Africa telecom giant, MTN Nigeria led by controlling 39.72 percent of total subscribers.
Globacom, the operators of Glomobile controls 26.86 percent of the market share followed by Airtel with 26.64 percent and 9mobile controls merely 6.78 percent of the market.
Also, internet subscribers dropped to 141.76 million in April from 144.95 million in March, while Broadband penetration dropped to 40.66 percent in April from 41.18 percent in March.
No porting from one network to another was recorded between March and April, as a result of the database linkage with NIN that started last year.