South Africa-based telcoms group MTN has announced that its consolidated subscriber base increased to 134.47 million as at 30 September 2010, up 4% from the 129.21 million reported at the end of June. A company statement credited the increase to ‘high quality networks, attractive value propositions and efficient distribution’. The South and East African region, which contributes 22% of the group’s customers, increased its subscriber base by 4.9% to 30.08 million for the quarter – mainly driven by growth in its domestic market. In South Africa, the customer base rose 3.9% to 17.77 million, helped by the addition of 616,000 pre-paid users and its MTN Zone offer, which allows MTN subscribers access to a discounted call rate if they are in an area experiencing a low volume of MTN traffic. ARPU in South Africa remained stable at ZAR152 (USD21.6).
The West and Central African region, which contributes 46% of the group’s subscribers increased its customer base by 3.4% in the three month period to 61.38 million. Nigeria – MTN’s largest single market and that which contributes 60% of the region’s subscriber base – grew its base 5.1% to 36.84 million. MTN credits the increase to ‘superior network quality and a successful distribution framework’. Elsewhere in the region, Ghana’s customer base declined from 8.72 million to 8.46 million due to the introduction of mandatory SIM registration on 1 July 2010.
The Middle East and North African region, which accounts for the remaining 32% of MTN’s consolidated subscriber base, increased its numbers by 4.1% to 43.01 million. MTN says that the growth within the region was mainly due to its Iranian operation, which contributes 66% of the region’s subscribers. MTN Irancell increased its users by 5.6% to 28.49 million. Elsewhere in the region, Syria benefited from improved brand awareness, increasing its subscriber base to 4.72 million, a rise of 6.8%.