The MTN Group has recorded just over 54-million subscribers across its 21 operations for the quarter ended 30 September 2007 – a 12% increase from the slightly more than 48-million it had at 30 June 2007.
The South and East Africa (SEA) region contributed 33% of the group’s total subscribers while the West, East and Central Africa (WECA) and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions contributed 47% and 20% respectively.
MTN Group president and CEO, Phuthuma Nhleko, comments: “I am pleased with the steady growth of our subscriber base during this last quarter, especially the progress we are making at MTN Irancell, which really launched in earnest in January 2007 but has already exceeded 3,7-million subscribers.”
The SEA region increased its subscriber base by 5% for the quarter. Growth in the region was driven mainly by MTN Group’s South African operation, with subscribers increasing by 3% for the quarter ended 30 September 2007. Postpaid net connections have now normalised following the unwinding of the specific unfavourable on biller agreement.
There has been a restatement of the South African subscribers and ARPU which now reflects MTN’s consolidated South African operation. MTN Uganda subscribers increased 12% to 2,09-million due to more competitive pricing.
In the WECA region the 9% growth was driven largely by MTN Nigeria, which recorded a 7% increase in subscribers to 14,98-million. An aggressive network rollout plan is addressing the quality and capacity issues following the high rate of subscriber acquisitions since the last quarter of 2006.
Ghana increased its subscriber base by 14% to 3,87-million underpinned by strong operational execution of the network rollout. In addition, Cameroon increased subscribers by 15% to 2,23-million due to increased marketing activities.
The MENA region recorded a 36% increase in subscribers mainly due to strong growth from start-up operations in Iran, which increased subscribers by 88% to 3,72-million. There was also continued strong growth in Afghanistan (66%), Sudan (24%) and Syria (12%).
MTN South Africa’s Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) increased, on a comparable basis, by 1% to R146.00. Nigerian and Ghanaian ARPUs remained strong at $17.00 and $16.00 respectively.