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Telcos Active Subscribers Decline by Over 100 Million in March, NCC Reveals

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has revealed that 107 million mobile lines connected to telecommunication companies, 9mobile, MTN, Globacom, and Airtel became inactive in the month of March.

A deactivated mobile number is one that a mobile provider has removed from service for an end-user, either because the end-user has switched operators or because their account has been canceled for some other reason. All deactivated numbers are eventually recycled and made available to new subscribers.

The latest data from the Commission reveals that the four telecom giants had N306.3 million connected lines as of March, however, active lines across the networks at the end of the month stood at 199.2 million, reaching a decline of 107.1 million.

This implies that the telecommunication giants lost revenue from 35% of their customers and only generated from about 65%.

About a week ago, Investors King gathered that MTN claimed 19 million of its users were affected when the government ordered telecoms to prohibit outgoing calls on phone lines that were not yet linked on April 4, 2022.

However, as of April 25, 8.7 million people who were previously restricted, had submitted their NINs for verification, with about 1.2 million of them being reinstated.

In its first-quarter financial results, MTN reported that its subscribers had increased to 70.2 million as of March 30, 2022. However, as of April, nearly 10 million of its subscribers had not yet linked their NIN.

It is important to understand that, while telecoms companies always have inactive lines together with an increase in active users and new activations, the ban on SIM registration and many subscribers’ inability to retrieve their lines between December 9, 2020, and April 19, 2021, exacerbated the problem as abandoned lines began to stack up each month.

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Telecommunications

MTN Celebrates Customer Service Week by Gifting Subscribers Airtime Top-up

MTN is celebrating its customer service week by gifting Airtime top-ups to its loyal customers through engaging activities on all its social media platforms.

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Mobile telecommunications giant MTN is celebrating its customer service week by gifting Airtime top-ups to its loyal customers through engaging activities on all its social media platforms.

The telecommunications giant is celebrating this year’s edition with exciting activities which include online competitions, trivia quizzes, giveaways, and lots more.

To participate in the Customer Service Week activities, subscribers are required to follow all the company’s social media accounts where all activities and information for the week will be communicated, Investors King understands.

MTN’s theme for this year 2022 Customer Service Week is “No US without U” where it is appreciating the loyalty of its customers and partners of the brand for over 20 years of partnership and loyalty.

Customer Service Week is an international celebration of the importance of customer service and of the people who serve and support customers on a daily basis.

The goal of the event is to emphasize the importance of customer satisfaction and also listen to customers as critical components of building a business. During this week customers are given different types of packages, such as gifts, rewards, and other exciting offers.

Speaking on MTN’s “Customers Service Week” and its commitment to customers, the Chief Customer Service Officer Ugonwa Nwoye said “Our customers mean so much to us, they are the reason we are thriving for more than two decades. This is why we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure our customers stay happy and satisfied.”

Customer service has been described as a core means of building brand loyalty and encouraging customer satisfaction. According to Forbes, It is reported that around 70% of American customers report they’re willing to spend more money with companies that provide excellent service.

In other words, a company’s excellent customer service can be one of the most powerful customer retention tools they will have.

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Vodacom Business Africa Launches SD-WAN Software to Countries Across Africa to Eliminate Connectivity Barriers

Vodacom Business Africa has announced plans to launch its SD-WAN software to clients in all 47 operating countries across its African footprint.

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Vodacom Business Africa, an enterprise-focused ICT subsidiary of the Vodacom group and Africa’s preferred pan-African service provider, has announced plans to launch its SD-WAN software to clients in all 47 operating countries across its African footprint.

The SD-WAN Software is a virtual WAN architecture that allows enterprises to leverage any combination of transport services which includes MPLS, LTE, and broadband internet services to securely connect users to applications.

It also assures consistent application performance and resiliency, automates traffic steering in an application-driven manner based on business intent, improves network security, and simplifies the WAN architecture.

Following the launch of the software in Africa, the executive head of strategic marketing for Vodacom Business Africa Wale Odeyemi said, “By launching this offering into Africa, we’re eliminating connectivity barriers that growing businesses are contending with.

“These include increasing cybersecurity threats, escalating data demands and costs, as well as slow or unresponsive digital applications that stall productivity.”

He added that Vodacom Business Africa offers an end-to-end SD-WAN solution, which implies that they provide both the physical network underlay and the digital overlay so that their clients won’t have to approach various providers to set up the kind of network they need.

“Companies can link to multiple providers and let their software decide which is the fastest, most efficient link to perform specific tasks. When choosing our solution, you don’t have to completely replace an existing network, either.

“You can simply strengthen what you already have. as an overlay technology, our SD-WAN can run on top of existing carrier-grade multiprotocol label switching connections (MPLS) and across hybrid WANs. Plus, it’s scalable and configurable to meet each business’s needs and pace of growth”, he added.

The Vodacom Business Africa SD-WAN is fully managed by a team of technology experts, and streamlines networks across multiple locations locally and internationally.

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USSD Service May no Longer be Available as Network Providers Threaten Banks

Network providers have threatened to halt the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) offered to the financial institutions operating in the country due to N80 billion unpaid debt.

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Network providers have threatened to halt the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) offered to the financial institutions operating in the country due to N80 billion unpaid debt.

Investors King learnt that the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) says it might be forced to stop Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) services because banks have failed to pay for services rendered.

Speaking at a conference in Lagos, ALTCON chairman, Mr Gbenga Adebayo lamented that the debt which stood at N42 billion earlier this year has now risen to N80 billion. 

Adebayo noted that despite the government’s effort to resolve the matter, many banks were not cooperating as regards paying their debt. 

He further disclosed that the telecom operators might have to disconnect the banks from the USSD service until they do the needful.

It will be recalled that in March 2021, telecommunication operators had threatened to withdraw their USSD services to financial institutions due to the N42 billion accumulated debt.

The huge debt was a result of the deduction from the commission during the transactions. However, the banks failed to remit to the telecommunications operators who own the infrastructure used for the transactions. 

The USSD service has become an integral part of the Nigerian banking system. Some of the services available on USSD include money transfer, checking of account balance and buying mobile airtime.

Other services which can be carried out on USSD include buying data and generating bank statements or pin codes.

No doubt, the USSD service has significantly helped to drive the CBN cashless policy and financial inclusion. 

It is believed that millions of Nigerians who do not have a smartphone or run out of data or internet connection often resolve to the USSD service. Billions of naira are transacted every day through USSD. Statista reported that the value of USSD transactions in 2020 was a whopping N550 billion. 

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