Despite the one-month ban on the sale of SIMs imposed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for three of the four GSM operators, MTN Nigeria grew its subscribers marginally to 57.2 million and the operation’s market share declined marginally to 49.3% to help post an impressive return for the MTN Group balance sheet.
MTN has passed the 210 million subscriber mark and recorded a significant data revenue increase, notes a news report by the CIO-East Africa in reference to the MTN Group’s latest quarterly report.
Among the highlights for the March 2014 quarter, MTN Group reported subscriber growth of 1.1% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) from December 2013, data revenues bolstering performance increasing 43.3% year-on-year (YoY) and encouraging progress in Mobile Money, with total registered subscribers now 16,6 million
According to Biztech Africa, MTN South Africa continued to focus on regaining relevance in the pre-paid segment and maintaining its post-paid market share. Overall subscriber numbers reduced by 824 768 bringing total subscribers to 24.9 million at the end of the quarter. This was largely due to the disconnection of 973 064 subscribers who had been showing activity but not generating revenue as per 90 day RGS requirement. The post-paid segment delivered a satisfactory performance, growing subscribers by 3.7% to 5.2 million. This was supported by continued growth in telemetry SIMs, segmented marketing campaigns as well as attractive converged offers.
While the pre-paid segment remained challenging, the introduction of MTN Sky (unlimited pre-paid bundled price plan) and the launch of a new pre-paid voice promotion of 79 cents per minute for both on-net and off-net calls in the second quarter, are expected to deliver improved subscriber performance going forward. Data continues to bolster revenue growth, increasing by 13.3% YoY and now contributes 22.8% of the operation’s revenue. Data subscribers increased to 14.5 million largely due to competitive data packages and the launch of the low-cost Steppa smartphone.
MTN Ghana increased subscribers by 1.0% to 13.1 million. This was a satisfactory performance despite a highly penetrated market, currency and inflationary pressures, and increased competition. The investment in Mobile Money awareness together with new and innovative products resulted in higher activations and transaction volumes. This positively impacted local currency data revenue, which increased by 99.8% YoY and now contributes 7.0% to the operation’s total revenue.
MTN Cameroon performed well, delivering a 6.0% increase in its subscriber base to 9.2 million. The operation increased its value share while maintaining its market share despite strong competition and a relatively weak economic environment. MTN Ivory Coast increased its subscribers by 6.3% to 7.5 million, maintaining its market share and increasing value share in a highly competitive market. MTN Uganda reported a good performance increasing its subscriber base by 8.4% to 9.5 million. This was mainly attributable to attractive bundled offers aimed at both acquisition and retention. MTN Sudan experienced a net reduction of 52 000 subscribers with the overall base remaining at 8.7 million subscribers. This was largely attributable to increased competition and a spike in unrest in the southern region of the country.