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85.4m inactive telephone lines worry NCC, telecoms networks

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Increasing number of inactive telephone lines on telecoms networks has become a serious challenge for both the regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and GSM networks.

It would be recalled that Mobile Number Portability (MNP) was introduced some years ago to tame the act of dumping a SIM card for another one from another network.

However, an analysis of the latest industry data released by the NCC shows that there are currently over 85.4 million inactive telephone lines on the various mobile networks in the country, while the industry ARPU is put at N1,830 ($6).

Details further show that the figure represents 36 per cent of the total 239,586,312 connected telephone lines, as only 154,120,484 lines are said to be active by the regulator, making about 85.4 million lines inactive as of February 2017.

Active number is defined as any SIM card that is in use within the last 90 days. Besides, a telephone line is deemed to be inactive once it is not used to make or receive calls for 90 days and when a subscriber gets connected on a line and subsequently fails to use it to access telecoms services on the network. This results in loss of potential revenue for the affected telecoms company.

Data gathered from NCC showed that redundant SIM cards are on the increase as inactive telephone lines in January stood at 83.5 million and 85.4 million in February meaning that networks lose an average of 1.9 million SIM cards every month.

Explaining more on the reasons behind rising number of redundant numbers, President, Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria, Mr. Olusola Teniola, argued that whereas process of MNP seems too cumbersome for some Nigerians, momentary rise in the quality of service among the networks can spur subscribers to dump a network in one day and acquire another from another network in less than one hour on the go.


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