MTN continues to grow the number of its subscribers, with the latest quarterly figures 8% higher than the previous three months. At 31 March, the group's subscribers stood at 98,202-million, compared to 90,653-million on 31 December 2008.
Strong subscriber growth continues to be a feature in almost all the countries MTN operates in.
The proportional subscriber contribution between the regions remains relatively unchanged, with South and East Africa (SEA) region contributing 26% of the group's total subscribers. West and Central Africa (WECA) and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) contributed 45% and 29% respectively.
The SEA region increased its subscriber base by 4% for the quarter. The South African operation contributes 69% to the region`s subscribers, increasing 2% to 17,428-million for the latest quarter. The modest increase in subscribers was due to the mix of seasonal trends, weakening economic conditions and aggressive competition.
Uganda increased its subscriber base by 13% due to the continued success of MTN Zone.
The WECA region increased its subscriber base by 10% for the quarter. The strong growth in the region was primarily due to growth in Nigeria which contributes 59% to the region`s subscribers and recorded a 12% increase in its subscriber base to 25,908-million. This was mainly due to continued improvements in network quality and capacity.
Ghana increased its subscriber base by 5% despite fierce competition. Both Cameroon and Cote d'Ivoire increased their subscriber bases by 7% to 3,824-million and 3,810-million respectively.
The MENA region recorded a 9% increase in subscribers for the quarter. This was due to continued growth from the Iran operation, which contributes 63% to the region's subscribers and increased its subscribers by 14% to 18,252-million.
The disappointing slowdown of subscriber acquisitions in Sudan and Syria is mainly attributed to the economic downturn in the respective countries. Sudan increased its subscriber base to 2,658-million while Syria experienced negative growth of 3% to 3,428-million subscribers.
The decline of many local currencies against the US dollar negatively affected ARPU trends.