MTN Group Ltd, Africa’s largest mobile-phone company, said its subscription numbers slid in South Africa in the quarter ended Sept. 30, hurt by a new rule requiring more information from users.
The Johannesburg-based company said subscriptions fell to 16.4 million from 17.2 million in the previous quarter.
The “main reason” for the slide was the implementation of laws requiring mobile operators to register each SIM card in the country. Users are also required to present proof of identity and residential address when buying air time.
“Given the current market uncertainty following the implementation of Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication Related Information Act, there are challenges with South Africa achieving its revised target of zero net additions for the full year,” the company said in a statement to the city’s stock exchange.
MTN fell 1.3 percent, or 1.50 rand, to 116.50 rand in Johannesburg.
The group’s overall subscriber numbers rose 5 percent to 108.5 million from 103.2 million the previous three months. It marked a 20 percent increase in the year to date, the company said in the statement.
South and East Africa contributed 23 percent of total users, down from 25 percent, with South Africa accounting for 64 percent of that region.
The West and Central Africa division contributed 46 percent, while the Middle East and North Africa contributed 31 percent.
Nigeria’s subscriptions grew 5 percent to 28.8 million. It accounts for 58 percent of the WECA region, the statement said. Subscriber numbers in Iran grew 8 percent to 20.7 million.
The country accounts for 62 percent of the Middle East and North Africa subscriptions.