MTN Group reveals strong 3Q subscriber growth

1 Nov 2007

South Africa’s MTN Group has reported 12% subscriber growth during the three months ended 30 September 2007, to 54.1 million, boosted by a surge in sign-ups in Iran. MTN Irancell, which launched in October 2006 after months of delays, saw its subscriber base increase by 88% to 3.7 million.

MTN said monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) in its home market increased 1% year-on-year to ZAR146 (USD22), while the customer numbers rose 3% in the three months to 14.08 million. ‘There is no doubt that South African operations are becoming mature, but that they (MTN) are still able to show growth tells you there are still growth opportunities,’ said one analyst, quoted by Reuters.

MTN’s south and east Africa region contributed 33% of total subscribers, with west and central Africa, and Middle East and North Africa regions contributing 47% and 20% respectively. Users in its biggest market, Nigeria, rose 7% to 15 million, with monthly ARPU of USD17. MTN Ghana saw growth of 14% in its customer base to 3.9 million, while MTN Cameroon recorded a 15% increase to 2.2 million. MTN’s operations in Afghanistan (66%), Sudan (24%) and Syria (12%) also all made healthy subscriber gains in the three-month period. ‘An aggressive network rollout plan is addressing the quality and capacity issues following the high rate of subscriber acquisitions since the last quarter of 2006,’ MTN said in a statement.