MTN Group has recorded an increase of 3.7 per cent in mobile subscribription in the first three months beginning this year, owing to continued high levels of competition in key markets, the telecom company said in a statement sent to Business Times.
According to the statement, the telecom giant added 6,072,000 million subscribers in the first quarter of this year to 170,573,000 from 164,501,000 as of December last year.
“MTN South Africa contributed 13.3 percent to the group subscribers; it increased its subscriber base 3.2 percent for the quarter. Post-paid segment performed well, increasing its subscriber base by 4.4 per cent mainly due to attractive data propositions,” the statement read.
“The prepaid segment increased its subscriber base by 2.9 per cent despite increased competition.”
The group attributed the performance to competitive promotions including MTN Zone, through improved informal distribution channels.
After MTN South Africa, the other four larger operations that contribute mainly to the group include MTN Nigeria, MTN Irancell, MTN Ghana and MTN Syria, which contributed 25.1 percent, 21.6 percent, 6.1 percent and 3.3 percent to the Group subscribers in that order.
The rest of MTN’s operations contributed 30.5 percent to Group subscribers, representing an increase in users of 3.5 percent.
“MTN Uganda increased its subscriber base by 1.2 percent as the market slowed due to SIM registration. MTN Sudan continued to show good progress, increasing its subscriber base by 5.3 percent for the quarter attributable to attractive value propositions and improved distribution,” the statement stated.
MTN Rwanda, the country’s leading operator by market share registered an increase of 0.4 per cent.
According to Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA)’s figures, the telecom operator’s subscribers increased from 2,892,827 million as of end December last year to 2,904,122 million end March, only adding 11,295 for the period.
Earlier, the regulator indicated that the sector had registered a slump in mobile subscribers, equivalent to 24,010 between December, last year and February this year.
The country’s total mobile users dropped from 4,446,194 as of end of December to 4,422,181 to the month ending February.
MTN Rwanda dropped 17,105 mobile users during the period from 2,892,827 to 2,875,722 in February.
The sector regulator said the dip was caused by members of the Diaspora that were in the country for long holidays and went back after the festive season as well as high school students who were on long vacations before going back to school.
Also according the group statement, MTN Rwanda’s Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) stood at $3.8 as of end March, remaining unchanged as end December last year.
ARPU is the monthly weighted average revenue per subscriber. Revenue includes interconnect fees and excludes connection fees and visitor roaming revenue, and this is divided by the weighted average subscriber base over the period.
“The Group continues to prioritise key initiatives to better manage the business as consumer trends evolve and competition intensifies. Data and related products and services continued to gain momentum. Data, including SMS, contributes 14.4 percent to revenue, driven mainly by MTN South Africa,” the statement reads.
Mobile Money was introduced in 13 countries and by the end of March 2012 the group had 6.2 million Mobile Money subscribers. “Initiatives to optimise costs continue to be rolled out and the centralized procurement initiative is showing solid progress,” the statement said.