MTN Group has reported a 31% rise in subscribers in its fiscal first half of the year, to 20.6 million, helping generate a 25% increase in consolidated revenues to ZAR17.2 billion for the six months ended 30 September 2005. In its home market, MTN’s subscriber base rose 12% to 8.96 million. In Nigeria, MTN’s subscriber base leapt 38% to 7.67 million, although a higher proportion of lower-value customers resulted in ARPU dipping to around USD23 from USD40 six months earlier. Elsewhere, MTN’s Swaziland operation ended the period with 192,000 subscribers, up 23%, and its Cameroon subscriber base rose from 863,000 to 1.129 million. Ugandan subscribers increased by 14% to 895,000 and its Rwandan operation added around 68,000 users to end the period with 256,000. Cash-rich MTN has completed the purchase of a string of operators in Zambia (91,000 subs), Ivory Coast (932,000) and Botswana (445,000) in the period and says it will continue to pursue growth in Africa and the Middle East, where it is finalising the purchase of a 49% stake in Iran’s second national mobile operator.