SA mobile subscriber numbers compared

Ahead of MTN’s release of its subscriber numbers on Friday (3 May 2012) and Vodacom’s annual results announcement (21 May 2012), BusinessTech looks at how South Africa’s mobile subscriber pie chart is currently divided.

The data is based on local operators’ last-reported subscriber figures.

In its last reporting period for the year ended December 2011, MTN said its South African operation performed well upping its subscriber base by 16.9%,  mainly due to growth of 17.6% in the prepaid segment to 18.2 million subscribers.

Group subscribers improved 16.2% to 164.5 million, MTN said in March.

And back in October, to show quarterly data, MTN said it recorded 158.59 million subscribers at the end of September 2011. In South Africa it increased its subscriber base by 5.9% to 20.968 million for the quarter.

For Vodacom, for the quarter ended December 2011, it announced record net customer additions of five million in the quarter, with group customers up 27.3% to 52.9 million. For customers in South Africa, Vodacom highlighted growth of 25.4% year on year to 31.7 million.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services says that mobile operator, Vodacom should retain a clear leading position in the local domestic mobile market over the next twelve months, with around 50% market share.

However, S&P also highlighted the increasingly challenging market conditions in SA for Vodacom, citing expected competition from other operators.

“We expect higher competition in the coming year as Telkom and Cell C are rolling out or upgrading their networks and marketing aggressive pricing offers, in particular in data products,” the ratings group said.

Current South African mobile subscriber numbers

Operator Date Subscribers
Vodacom Dec 2011 31,700,000
MTN Sep 2011 20,968,000
Cell C Aug 2011 8,200,000
8ta Sep 2011 1,140,289
Virgin 2010 300,000
Total 2011 62,308,289*

*Approximate

Market share pie graph based on latest reports

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