This Day (Lagos)

15 November 2012

Nigeria: Redundant Telephone Lines Hits 38 Million

The latest figure on the industry subscribers' data released by the telecoms industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) show that over 38.2 million telephone lines have become redundant in Nigeria.

The data, which highlight that the telephone lines as connected, show that its users have stopped using the lines to either make or receive calls, a development that has necessitated their inactivity.

According to the data, while the latest number of connected telephone lines currently stands at 145.4 million at the end of September, 2012, only 107.3 million were estimated to be active.

This implies that about 38.2 million phone lines are inactive on the account of their not being used by the owners.

The figure is the cumulative number of inactive phones obtained on all networks including the Global System for Mobile Communications, GSM, operators, the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) operators and the fixed wired/wireless networks.

The data also show that the number of connected but redundant or inactive telephone lines in the industry has grown significantly from January, 2012 to hit 38.2 million at the end of September, 2012.

According to the report, in January 2012, the number of inactive telephone lines stood at 31.9 million, but increased to 35.2 million in February; 35.8 million in March before falling to 35 million in April.

In May 2012, the figure dropped 32.6 million inactive lines while in June and July, the figure rose to 33.7 million and 37.6 million respectively.

Telephone redundancy or inactivity has become a growing phenomenon in the nation's burgeoning telecoms sector.

Industry analysts attributed various reasons for the increase in the number of inactive telephone lines in the country, which they say is putting pressure on the revenue generation of telephone firms.

President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, noted that the growing inactive lines may have resulted as a result of loss of or damage to SIM lines by subscribers.

"It could also be indicative of the choice of networks available to phone users, who drop one line for another one on a different network. For instance, many have multiples SIM at home which are no longer using and by virtue of this, those unused SIMs have become redundant," he said.

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