South Africa-based mobile operator MTN Group is preparing a fight-back in the domestic market after admitting it is ‘unhappy’ with its recent subscriber growth in the six months to 30 September. While overall subscriber growth of 32% lifted the company’s base to 20.6 million users, the group’s South African unit posted a paltry 12% rise to 8.9 million and also lost ground to Vodacom in the pre-paid segment, which reported a near 40% year-on-year growth rate in the period, to 15.8 million customers. MTN’s chief executive Phuthuma Nhleko has not disguised his ire at the recent developments saying ‘We are not happy with the performance of MTN South Africa . . . we think we could have put in a stronger performance, and we will now focus, in the remaining period, on improving our gross and net adds.’ Nhleko proposes to increase the cello’s distribution channels and better manage its churn – particularly in the pre-paid segment, which has risen from around 35% to 40%.