MTN Zone numbers impress

Mobile operator MTN Group says its per second billing price plan offering, MTN Zone, has close to 14 million users in South Africa, and still growing.

MTN Nigeria CEO, Brett Goschen revealed the numbers last week (25 October) in a conference call discussing the group’s Q3 trading update.

MTN Zone offers PayAsYouGo customers discounts of up to 100% on calls and SMSes to MTN numbers and is dependent on the user’s location and time of day.

MTN Group lifted its subscriber base to 182.7 million for the quarterly period ended September 2012, while its South African subscriber base improved to 24.498 million.

MTN South Africa is part of MTN Group, a multi-national telecommunications operator that boasts over 152 million subscribers across its companies with operations in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East.

Speaking to an analyst, Goschen said: “We’re just touching on 14 million customers on MTN Zone out of a total of about 20 million (PayAsYouGo). It is still growing strong. And I’m excluding the hybrid. On the hybrid we’re touching on two million customers now, of which 50% is Zone hybrids,” he said.

MTN South Africa reported 20.152 million pre-paid customers and 4.346 million post-paid customers for the Q3 period.

In Nigeria, the numbers were also impressive. “So we introduced Zone in July, and at this stage we are nationwide with Zone with about 8 million active subscribers,” Goschen said.
MTN Nigeria, is the operator’s largest market by subscribers, with 40.211 million up to the period ended September 2012.

Also speaking during the teleconference, Karel Pienaar, CEO for South Africa, admitted a slowdown in data numbers from what the group announced in August reporting on results for the six months ended June 2012.

“If you look at the last quarter we did see a slowdown. But we are identifying it more as seasonal, in other words holidays. Like in September we saw quite a dip. If I look at the total  numbers to date then they’re back to the 40s type of growth numbers relative to October of last year,” he said.

“So there are seasonal elements, and certainly we’re definitely seeing a lower number from what we announced in June. But it is coming back up again and we’re hoping for a good Christmas as well,” he said.

At 30 June 2012, there were 11.9 million data users with 4.4 million smartphones, MTN said, adding that data revenue contributed 15.9% to total revenue in SA.

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MTN Zone numbers impress