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Why Number of Inactive Mobile Lines Suddenly Drops

Inactive mobile SIMs

The number of inactive mobile lines in the country has dropped from 94.6 in May to 89 million, according to the latest statistics obtained from the Nigerian Communications Commission [NCC].

Abandoned lines

This shows that 5.6 million lines that were previously inactive were connected in May. Before May 2020, the number of inactive lines had been climbing.

The trend slowed in May when the number reduced from 95.5 million in April to 94.6 million. In June the record showed a further decline due to the number of abandoned lines.

SIM cards figure

The Commission’s Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards statistics showed that connected mobile telephone lines on the network is 285.2 million in June.

A total of 196, 039,869 million lines are active. These lines are being used by the consumers to access voice services from the likes of MTN, Airtel, Globacom and 9mobile.

Percentage of revenue

From the 196, 039,869 actives lines, the MNOs have generated revenue of 68.7 per cent of the SIM cards sold to their consumers.

According to media reports, telephone consumers abandoned their SIM cards because SIM cards that used to cost an arm and a leg is now free.

Cost of SIM

In 2001, a SIM pack cost as high as N60, 000. However, due to high demand, competition erupts among the MNOs.

The MNOs have devised many strategies to win the hearts of consumers. One of the marketing strategies is to issue SIM card free. As such, a SIM is not only free; it is loaded with free airtime and data upon activation.

Registered it, Abandoned it

Thus, a mobile telephone consumer will readily acquire a new SIM pack, register it, active it by making few calls and abandoned it afterwards. This trend has now spurred many subscribers to acquire virgin SIMs in order to enjoy those freebies and this cycle has resulted in inactive mobile lines.

A mobile line will become inactive if it is not used by the subscriber to make calls, receive calls or access data services within 90 days at the minimum.

Since inactive lines do not generate revenue for the mobile network operators, these inactive lines would be disconnected and separated from the networks.