The number of active telephone connections in Nigeria declined to 192.41 million in March from 196.68 million in the previous month, according to the latest data released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
The data showed that the country’s teledensity also declined to 100.80 percent compared with 102.72 percent in February.
Industry observers said the decline in the number of active telephone connections 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.
The industry regulatory had last year ordered all telephone subscribers to link their NIN to their mobile phone database or risk being disconnected from the network.
NCC also suspended the sales of new SIM, which invariably affected those who lose their phone/SIM in the period and are unable to retrieve such as a result of the government directive.
Also, MTN Nigeria, the local unit of South Africa’s telecoms giant sustained its domination of the market in March with 39.50 percent of the market share.
MTN number of subscribers stood at 77.35 million in March compared with Globacom 54.18 million, which has the second-largest share of the market at 27.60 percent.
Airtel came third with 51.43 million subscribers, representing 26.20 percent of the market share.
9Mobile has the least subscribers of 12.77 million, representing 6.70 percent market share.
Broadband declined in the period to 78.61 million in March from 80.28 million in February, representing 41.18 percent from 42.06 percent previously.
Active internet subscriptions also showed a decline to 144.95 million from 148.52 million in the previous month.
Teledensity is defined as the number of active telephone connections per one hundred (100) inhabitants living within an area and is expressed as a percentage figure.