Maande Manyatshe, the Managing Director of South African cellco MTN, said yesterday that he did not expect 3G services to take off in South Africa in the future, claiming that the key driver of the country’s mobile market would continue to be voice services. He added that MTN “believes that the main driver for 3G services is not customer demand but operators forcing technology onto the people”. Despite these statements, MTN still plans to launch a 3G network; it will target the corporate sector, which it believes to have the most potential for the technology.
At the end of September 2004 there were 23.28 million cellphone users in South Africa, of which 6.88 million were MTN subscribers. Wireless penetration in the country reached 53%.