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How MTN ‘lost’ 12m subscribers in Nigeria


Firm puts renewed focus on active subscribers

By John Eche


Owing to an internal review process designed to weed out essentially ‘ghost subscribers,’ the number of subscribers in the network of Africa’s leading telecommunications player, MTN has dropped from 62, 248,827 to 50, 307,169, The Difference can reveal.

The process is also to be carried out across the company’s whole range of operations in its 22 African and Middle Eastern theatres of activity, Group CEO Rob Shuter has confirmed.

Following this exercise, MTN sill leads the pack in Nigeria with its new market share now translating to 38.02 per cent of all subscribers, followed by Globacom with 26.78 percent, Airtel with 24.82 percent and 9mobile with 12.33 percent of the subscribers tally.

The firm had earlier been in the eye of the storm over its failure to expunge the numbers of its improperly documented subscribers that the Nigerian authorities had stated were a security threat, and for which it was to subsequently attract a hefty fine. The size of the fine was however to be later reviewed downwards upon appeals by the company and the South African government.


Rob Shuteer, Group CEO, MTN Africa

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