The MTN group has recorded an increase of 9% in its subscription figures for the quarter ended 30 September, with South Africa having recorded a 4% growth to 16,173-million during the period.
At the end of September 2008, MTN had 80,736-million subscribers, up from 74,058-million at the end of the previous quarter.
The proportional subscriber contribution between the regions remains unchanged, with South & East Africa (SEA) region contributing 28% of the group's total subscribers. West & Central Africa (WECA) and Middle East & North Africa (MENA) contributed 44% and 28% respectively.
The SEA region increased its subscriber base by 7% for the quarter. The South African operation contributes 72% to the region's subscribers, with its subscribers ncreasing 4% to 16,173-million for the quarter.
Postpaid net connections were satisfactory for the quarter. Prepaid growth was underpinned by MTN Zone, which was enhanced to include off-net calls and which continues to be a success.
Uganda increased its subscriber base by 16% following the introduction of MTN Zone in late July, with about 2-million subscribers now on this price plan.
The WECA region increased its subscriber base by 10% for the quarter. Nigeria contributes 56% to the region's subscribers and recorded a 9% increase in its subscriber base to 20,171-million. Aggressive network rollout in Nigeria continued in this quarter.
In the WECA region MTN Zone was introduced in Ghana, Cameroon and Benin during the latest quarter. Ghana increased its subscriber base by 14% to 5,713-million. Both Cameroon and Cote d'Ivoire increased their subscriber bases by 7% to 3,313-million and 3,243-million respectively.
The MENA region recorded a 10% increase in subscribers for the quarter. This was mainly due to continued growth from the Iran operation, which increased its subscribers by 13% to 13,139-million.
Following the substantial disconnections in the second quarter, subscriber growth in Sudan has started to show an improvement with a 7% increase in its subscribers to 2,266-million. Syria's more modest increase of 2% is attributed to a slowdown in acquisitions during the Ramadan period.
MTN South Africa`s blended ARPU increased by 1% indicating that rising inflation has still not had an unfavourable affect on the quantum of disposable income allocated to telecommunications. Nigeria, Ghana, Iran and Cameroon ARPUs remain robust not withstanding seasonal trends and increased penetration.