Mobile phone users rise to 185.7 million in January
The total number of subscribers to Global System of Mobile Communications reached 185.74 million in January 2020, growing by seven per cent year-on-year.
The latest monthly report on subscribers obtained from the Nigerian Communications Commission on Friday indicated that in one year, mobile network operators gained a total of 12.12 million new subscribers.
The data showed that Globacom gained the highest number of subscribers in the one year under review, adding 6.15 million new subscribers to its network to reach 51,755,561 customers by January 2020.
Airtel added 5.03 million new customers to reach 49,997,710 users and MTN gained 4.03 million new subscribers in one year, recording a total of 70,693,058 GSM users.
9mobile was the only operator that lost subscribers in the one year as 3.23 mobile network users left the network, dropping to 13,157,543 mobile users.
Also, on the Visafone network owned by MTN Nigeria, subscribers had reached 138,144 by January this year.
The NCC January report indicated that MTN remained Nigeria’s largest mobile network operator with 38 per cent market share. Globacom remains the country’s second largest operator at 27.86 per cent. Airtel clinched the third spot at 26.92 per cent while 9mobile remained the fourth operator at 7.08 per cent.
Between December 2019 and January 2020, MTN gained the highest number of new subscribers, 1.93 million, while Globacom added 55,509 new mobile phone users within the same period.
However, both Airtel and 9mobile lost subscribers in the one month under review.
Airtel lost 189,278 subscribers while 9mobile lost 484,452 mobile network users.
Meanwhile,the NCC has said it has no mandate to arrest SIM card registration defaulters in the country.
NCC, however, said with collaboration with security agencies, culprits could be apprehended and prosecuted for multiple registration of SIM cards with bad intent.
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The NCC Executive Vice- Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said this at the ongoing 41st Kaduna International Trade Fair in Kaduna.
Danbatta was represented by Amina Shehu, who is the Director of Zonal Services of the NCC.
On the issue of multiple SIM card registration, Danbatta said the commission, through its Compliance, Monitoring and Enforcement Department, would do the needful by collaborating with security agencies.
He also said, “There are laws on the registration of SIM cards. We have a department in the organisation called Compliance, Monitoring and Enforcement.
“That department is to enforce and make sure that all networks or individuals that don’t register or register wrongly with an intent to commit crime are death with. Once we get hold of them, we work with the security operatives.
“Because we don’t have the mandate to do what the security operatives are doing, we do effective collaboration with the security operatives to nab some of these people. It’s not within our mandate to do the arrest. Ours is to ensure that registration of SIM card is done.”
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