South Africa-based MTN Group has reported that its consolidated subscriber base reached 158.59 million as at 30 September 2011, up 4.1% quarter-on-quarter. During the three months in question, MTN said, it has successfully maintained market share in most of its markets, although social unrest remains a factor inhibiting performance in some countries. Nevertheless, MTN operations in troubled markets such as Syria, Yemen and Cote d’Ivoire all increased net connections during the quarter. MTN’s ‘West and Central Africa (WECA)’ division remains the group’s largest unit in terms of subscribers, with 44% of the total (compared to 45% in Q2), whilst the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s contribution remains unchanged at 33%. Elsewhere, the South and East Africa (SEA) division – including the group’s domestic operation MTN South Africa – contributed 23% of total customers (up from 22% in March).
The SEA region increased its subscriber base by 5.1% for the quarter, bringing the customer total to 35.94 million, with MTN South Africa continuing to account for the lion’s share of subscribers, with 20.97 million users at 30 September. MENA grew its customer total 4.1% to 158.59 million, with MTN Irancell leading the charge with 33.31 million subscribers. Elsewhere, MTN Nigeria remains the MTN Group’s largest subsidiary in terms of customer numbers, with 41.10 million subscribers, representing 59% of the WECA region’s 70.15 million customers.