MTN subscriber growth slower than expected

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The global communications partner and cellular network reported, in its 2013 quarterly update, that its total number of subscribers increased from 201,534 to 203,762.

“The third quarter has been characterised by lower than anticipated subscriber growth following on-going price competition and subscriber registration requirements across a number of markets,” said MTN group president and CEO, Sifiso Dabengwa.

“Subscriber growth was mainly impacted by disconnections in Nigeria related to registration requirements, slower than expected subscriber growth in South Africa, as well as slower subscriber growth in Iran.”

South Africa saw quarter on quarter subscriber growth of 0.9 per cent while Nigeria saw slightly less with 0.6 per cent. Cameroon saw the greatest quarter on quarter subscriber growth with 7 per cent.

Zambia, Syria, Uganda Benin and Yemen also saw significant quarter on quarter increases in subscriber growth.

Nigeria reported strong local currency revenue growth for the third quarter, up 10.4 per cent. The South African market however, remains challenging due to a number of regulatory and competitive actions.

MTN’s mobile money division now has 13.4 million total registered subscribers while the group recorded 203.8 million subscribers.

“During the quarter, the group continued to focus on segmented competitive voice and data tariffs and improving network quality to cater for increased traffic. Data and mobile money remain a key focus for the group with traditional voice revenue under pressure,” said Dabengwa.

“Data revenue for the group increased by 34.7 per cent year on year, contributing 14.1 per cent to total revenue while mobile money subscribers increased 10.7 per cent across 13 operations.”