MTN SA sheds 825,000 susbscribers

 ·24 Apr 2014

MTN Group has reported that its South African operation reduced subscriber numbers by 824,768, bringing total subscribers to 24,9 million for the period ended March 2014.

This, it said in a quarterly trading update, was largely due to the disconnection of  973,064 subscribers who had been showing activity but not generating revenue as per the group’s 90 day RGS requirement.

Overall group subscriber numbers advanced marginally, 1.1%, to 210 million.

MTN said its SA 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,” the group said.

While the pre-paid segment remained challenging, the introduction of MTN Sky, 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, MTN said.

It noted that data continues to bolster revenue growth, increasing by 13.3% YoY and now contributes 22.8% of the operation’s revenue.

MTN said that data subscribers increased to 14.5 million largely due to competitive data packages and the launch of its low-cost Steppa smartphone.

Blended ARPU however, declined 11.3% to R100,47.

“MTN South Africa remains committed to seeking a permanent resolution to the recent MTR glide path and asymmetry regulations announced by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, which came into effect on 1 April for a period of six months,” MTN said.

MTN Nigeria

MTN Nigeria delivered a “satisfactory” performance during the quarter and increased its subscriber base 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 (0.8%) and the operation’s market share declined marginally to 49,3%, the group said.

“We continue to engage constructively with the NCC on quality of service KPIs and regular market activities resumed from 1 April,” MTN said.

The group said that it has seen strong subscriber growth post the lifting of the ban.

The group pointed to a significant improvement in network quality and capacity with 483 2G and 597 3G sites added during the quarter.

Local currency data revenue continued to grow strongly increasing by 21.1% YoY with the average data usage per customer at 41MB per month, it said.

“This was mainly attributable to the growth in 3G enabled devices on the network, which increased to 7.1million and improved 3G network quality and capacity,” MTN said.

Local currency ARPU was 3.2% lower due to lower effective tariffs.

MTN Group president and CEO Sifiso Dabengwa said: “Data and Mobile Money remain key areas of focus for the group as traditional voice revenue remains under pressure.

“We note encouraging growth in data revenues increasing 43.3% YoY and contributing
17.0% of total revenue and a 12.0% increase in Mobile Money subscribers.  Cost containment and the execution of our infrastructure sharing strategy, particularly in South Africa, continue to make good progress.”

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