The NCC has put the number of inactive telephone lines in the country at 40 million. That is a huge figure. I am suspecting that the bulk of those inactive lines have to do with ownership of multiple SIMs/lines. For starters, I have ten (10) GSM SIMs. Two are active at any point in time, usually, my primary line for voice, SMS and mobile internet, and a second for internet. Sometimes, a third for a mobile review. All the others are backup lines and stay dormant for the most part. Some of them are Mini SIM while others are Micro SIM. But the picture is that of eight (8) dormant lines for the most part.
In discussing this with others, I have had an individual mention to me that he owns twenty (20) lines and that he needs to do a complete inventory of these. Others have mentioned having up to six (6) lines as well. Surely, I cannot be far from the truth when I say that the bulk of those 40 million lines are the result of multiple SIM ownership. Perhaps the question now is, What leads to an individual owning ten or twenty mobile lines when he does not put half of them to use? I shall speak for myself here, and then you may speak for yourself in the comments.
Because of my responsibilities here at MOBILITY, I need a SIM card from each of the four GSM operators, so four SIMS are accounted for. Where did the remaining six come from? They come from networks and manufacturers who keep bundling SIM cards with phone sales packs under one promo or the other. I buy this phone, and there’s a SIM card bundled in it offering three months free internet. Of course, I activate the SIM to take advantage of the promo. Someone sends me another phone and there’s a SIM pack bundled with that too.
I hope that the strategists behind these sort of bundle offers read this. For the most part, your promo SIM card ends up in the hands of people who already have active lines, get activated for the benefit of the freebie, and once the freebie is over, gets dumped and eventually reverts to dormancy. I am not sure of how many new active customers that are made from such promos bundling SIM cards with phones. So, while such promos increase the number of lines in circulation, they do not necessarily convert to long term gains for the operator.
How many SIM cards do you have? How did you come about them? How many of them do you use regularly?
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.