Following the massive deactivation of over 37 million subscribers on their networks, telecoms operators have begun a struggle to quickly re-register the affected customers to retain them on their respective networks. The development is coming as the operators move to retain their subscribers and still attract new subscribers from among their competitors’ subscribers, who are currently disgruntled due the deactivation of their SIM lines. Meanwhile, as affected subscribers continue to besiege the operators’ customer centres to reregister their SIMS, operators are also strategising on ways to retain their subscribers.
Already, checks by New Telegraph showed that some of the telecoms operators have extended work hours at their various customer services centres across the country. The move, it was learnt, was to be able reregister their affected subscribers, before they move to competitor’s network out of frustration.
The telecoms operators were, on August 4, directed to deactivate over 37 million Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) lines by the telecoms regulator, the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC). The directive followed the NCC’s discovery that over 45 per cent of alreadyregistered SIMS by the operators were invalid. NCC said it made the discovery last December after a clean-up exercise of the already-collected subscribers’ data sent to the Commission by the operators. However, last week’s massive deactivation of SIMS by the network was informed by the imposition of N120.4 million sanction on the operators due to their reluctance to follow the directive.
Corporate Services Executive at MTN, Mr. Akinwale Goodluck, at the weekend, said the telecoms company had extended its operation times from 8am to 8pm in order to create enough time for people to register their deactivated SIMs. “We wish to apologise to all our customers who are experiencing difficulty with the ongoing SIM registration/revalidation exercise. Affected customers can revalidate their registration details at all MTN sales outlets including the nearest agent and dealer shops. “We appeal for calm as customers visit our various outlets.
We are committed to ensuring that all affected subscribers complete the process as directed by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC). “It is for this reason that we have increased the number of staff handling SIM registration/validation across all our channels. We have also mandated all our registration outlets to remain open till 8pm every day until further notice,” he said.
MTN, with the largest number of telecoms subscribers of over 62 million on its network, has 18.6 million invalid subscribers on its network, according to NCC. Other operators share the remaining numbers of the over 37 million. Also, Airtel had also added every Sunday of to its work days at its customer centres across the country starting from 12pm daily.
Meanwhile, investigation by New Telegraph yesterday revealed that telecos have started losing revenue due to the implementation of the regulator’s directive, asking them to deactivate subscribers with defective registration data on their networks.