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MTN passes 170m subscribers

The MTN Group recorded 170 573 000 subscribers at 31 March 2012. This is a 3,7% increase for the quarter from 164 501 000 subscribers recorded at 31 December 2011.

In a statement, MTN Group said MTN South Africa contributed 13.3% to Group subscribers and delivered a sound performance in a mature market. It increased its subscriber base 3,2% for the quarter. Blended ARPU declined 7.9% mainly due to a reduction in interconnect rates s in March.

MTN Nigeria contributed 25.1% to Group subscribers and increased its subscriber base by 3 % for the quarter. Net connections of 1 258 000 were negatively impacted by a nationwide strike in January and aggressive competition. Slower net connections at the beginning of the year resulted in a marginal loss of MTN’s share of the market.

However, corrective measures enabled the operation to increase network capacity and improve net connections later in the quarter. MTN noted that no clarity has yet been provided on the deadline for SIM registration. The harmonizing of MTN Nigeria’s database of registered subscribers with the NCC database is in progress. Local currency ARPU declined by 1.1% for the quarter.

MTN Ghana contributed 6.1% to Group subscribers, increasing its subscribers 2.3% for the quarter and maintaining market share in a competitive environment. This was due to attractive promotions as well as the implementation of a regional structure to better manage sales and marketing. Local currency ARPU increased by 3.4% mainly because of revised value propositions.

The deadline for SIM registration was 1 March 2012 resulting in a disconnection of 21 237 subscribers representing 2% of the subscriber base. 

The rest of MTN’s operations contributed 30.5% to Group subscribers, representing an increase in users of 3.5%. MTN Uganda increased its subscriber base by 1.2% as the market slowed due to SIM registration. MTN Sudan continued to show good progress, increasing its subscriber base by 5.3% for the quarter attributable to attractive value propositions and improved distribution. MTN Cameroon also performed well and increased its subscriber base by 9.8%. This was attributable to a more aggressive informal distribution strategy and attractive value propositions. MTN Cote d’Ivoire increased its subscriber base marginally by 0.5% because of the removal of 200 000 non revenue generating SIM cards and lower gross connections due to SIM registration.

The Group said it  continues to prioritise key initiatives to better manage the business as consumer trends evolve and competition intensifies. Data and related products and services continued to gain momentum.

Data, including SMS, contributes 14.4% to revenue, driven mainly by MTN South Africa.

Mobile Money has now been launched in 13 countries. At the end of March 2012, MTN had 6.2 million Mobile Money subscribers. Initiatives to optimise costs continue to be rolled out and the centralised procurement initiative is showing solid progress.

Network quality and capacity remains a key imperative for the Group, the statement said. The majority of the operations continued to aggressively roll out networks and achieved satisfactory progress for the quarter.

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