MTN continues to lose market share to rival operator Cell C in South Africa.
This is according to JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms, in an interim presentation on Wednesday (18 February).
In presenting its half year results to the end of November 2014, Blue Label provided a breakdown of its prepaid airtime distribution for the country’s major mobile players.
It noted that MTN lost 2% in the pre-paid airtime sales segment to Cell C over the six month between June 2014 – November 2014.
Vodacom has remained stable, commanding 50% over the past three reporting periods, while MTN has slipped from 32%, to 27% over the past year, with Cell C moving up to 21%, from 17% in 2013.
“This is not what the market is doing, but what the market is doing inside Blue Label,” Brett Levy said. However, is estimated that the numbers were fairly reflective of the market outside the group’s actives.
In August, MTN said that market share declined by 2.7 percentage points to 31.9% in SA as competition intensified in the pre-paid segment. The group is due to report new subscriber numbers in March, which currently stands at approximately 25 million.
Cell C has grown its customer base to approximately 20 million.
Bloomberg meanwhile reported on Tuesday (17 February), that Cell C was exploring a possible sale which might include a local competitors, citing two people familiar with the matter.
Cell C, which is majority owned by Dubai-based Oger Telecom, is working with Goldman Sachs Group, Bloomberg said.
In September, Cell C said that it was in an infrastructure sharing talks with MTN, but stressed that the talks did not include a network management deal.
Citing a well placed industry source, BusinessTech reported that MTN and Cell C were believed to be in similar discussions to the proposed deal between Telkom and MTN, which would see the latter firm take over financial and operational responsibility for the rollout and operation of Telkom’s radio access network (RAN).