As of February 2023, users had abandoned a total of 96.8 million Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards out of 323.6 million registered cards. The most recent industry data made public by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) showed this. A total of 29.9% of all SIMs registered were mobile lines that were not in use.
All four of the country’s mobile networks—MTN, Airtel, Globacom, and 9mobile—are affected by the inactive SIMs. This might have an impact on the telecoms’ ability to generate income in the first quarter of 2023 because they wouldn’t be able to sell the unused SIM cards that are supposed to subscribe to both phone calls and data.
According to NCC data, 323.6 million connected lines were present across the four mobile network operators as of February this year. However, there were 226.8 million active lines across all networks at the conclusion of the month. This demonstrates that during the evaluation period, the telecommunications operators were able to generate money from 70% of their customers while their revenue from inactive lines decreased by 30%.
A mobile line is deemed inactive if the customer hasn’t used it for at least 90 days to place or receive calls, access data services, or both. As these lines don’t bring in any money for telecom operators within the specified time frame, they are isolated from active lines. Mobile network inactive lines were 94.4 million as of December 2022. In January, the number jumped to 95.2 million, and in February 2023, it increased again to 96.8 million.