MTN boosts broadband network

MTN unveiled their latest financial results on Wednesday (8 August), revealing that their 3G population coverage is now 56%. The company’s fibre network is also making good progress.

MTN South Africa delivered a good performance for the six months to 30 June 2012, increasing its subscriber base by 6.8% to 23.5 million.

This was mainly due to growth in the prepaid segment, which increased its subscriber base to 19.3 million. Prepaid growth was boosted by promotional campaigns like MTN Mahala and MTN Zone offerings and data services.

The postpaid segment maintained a positive trend, growing its subscriber base by 9.4% to 4.2 million.

“Competitive data offerings and the continued success of hybrid packages were the main contributors to post-paid growth. MTN South Africa recorded market share of 35.5% and value share showed a positive upward trend, particularly in the prepaid segment,” MTN said in a press statement.

MTN SA finances

Total revenue increased by 9.5% mainly due to a 49.0% increase in data revenue and strong prepaid revenue growth of 15%.

Data revenue now contributes 15.9% to total revenue compared to 11.6% in the prior comparative period.

Airtime and subscription revenue showed good growth of 5.9%, while handset revenue grew 29.1% due to the increase in demand for higher value phones.

At 30 June 2012, there were 11.9 million data users with 4.4 million smartphones.

Interconnect revenue decreased by 15.3% as a result of the lower interconnect rate. Postpaid average revenue per user (ARPU) continued to trend downward to R265 due to the increased uptake of lower value hybrid packages and telemetry SIM cards.

Prepaid ARPU decreased to R92 largely due to the interconnect rate cut and lower marginal prepaid subscribers. Reported blended ARPU was R123.

Karel Pienaar
Karel Pienaar – MTN SA CEO

Data network

MTN continued to modernise its network and focus on 3G coverage and capacity. MTN SA’s 3G population coverage is now 56%.

During the reporting period, 146 2G sites and 446 3G co-located sites were added, bringing the total number of 2G sites to 6,772 and 3G co-located sites to 3,600.

Fibre rollout remains a priority with 95% of the National Long Distance (NLD) route from Johannesburg to Durban trenched and over 50% of the fibre already installed.

The Johannesburg to Bloemfontein route trenching is 91% completed while the Bloemfontein to Cape Town route trenching is 70% completed.

MTN, which already has an extensive trial LTE network, highlighted that the qualification criteria for Long Term Evolution (LTE) spectrum is still being finalised by the Minister of Communications who has embarked on a process to address the high demand frequency bands in South Africa.

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MTN boosts broadband network