Active mobile network subscriptions in Nigeria, spanning across industry giants MTN, Globacom, Airtel, and 9mobile, witnessed a 0.4% increase, reaching a total of 220.5 million in July. This welcome news follows four consecutive months of steady declines in subscriptions and was revealed in the latest industry statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
As of June, the collective active mobile subscriptions in Nigeria stood at 219.7 million, making July’s addition of 770,889 new subscribers a noteworthy development.
MTN, the leading mobile network operator in Nigeria, played a pivotal role in this surge, gaining a substantial 678,008 new subscriptions during the month. Consequently, MTN’s total active subscriptions rose to 85.3 million, up from 84.6 million in June.
9mobile, another prominent player in the Nigerian telecom landscape, contributed to the growth with 176,105 new subscriptions. This achievement propelled 9mobile’s total active connected lines to 13.7 million, up from 13.5 million in June. Likewise, Globacom recorded an uptick of 23,565 new subscriptions, securing a total of 61.4 million subscribers.
However, Airtel, Nigeria’s third-largest mobile network operator, experienced a decline in subscriptions in July, shedding 106,789 subscribers during the month. Consequently, Airtel’s subscriber base decreased to 60 million.
This resurgence in subscriptions signals a potential conclusion to the disconnection of lines registered by individuals under the age of 18. The decline in subscriptions had persisted from March to June, following the Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC) revised guidelines, which raised the minimum age for SIM registration from 16 to 18 years.
The NCC, in a statement released when the regulation was initially announced in October 2021, cited the aim of protecting minors in the country and aligning with the Nigerian constitution’s recognition of 18 as the age at which an individual can enter into a contractual relationship. The Commission emphasized that SIM acquisition constitutes a contractual agreement between service providers and subscribers, requiring legal status, maturity, and rationality on the part of subscribers to fulfill their contractual responsibilities and obligations.