MTN South Africa shows huge mobile data growth

MTN has released its quarterly update for the period ended 31 March 2018.

The company said its operations in South Africa recorded year-on-year service revenue growth of 2.5%.

“While lower than our full-year expectations, this improving quarter-on-quarter performance follows the more muted performance in the prior quarter,” said MTN.

The growth was supported by data and digital revenue, which increased by 12.1% and 17.7% respectively, it said.

Outgoing voice revenue decreased by 9.2%, while data traffic increased by 49%.

There was also a 14% increase in active data users.

“MTN South Africa’s EBITDA margin expanded to 35% year-on-year, supported by continued cost efficiencies and the increase in service revenue.”

From a subscriber standpoint, MTN SA reported:

  • 132,000 postpaid net additions.
  • 536,000 prepaid net additions.

Its subscriber total for South Africa stood at 29.8 million.


MTN said the company invested R1.7 billion in capex locally in the first quarter of 2018, following the “marked improvement in our network in 2017”.

It has also continued to focus on customer acquisition in the postpaid business, improving channel footprint and reducing churn, said MTN.

The MTN Group reported positive figures in multiple segments, too.

  • Group subscribers increased by 1.9% quarter-on-quarter, with net additions of 4.1 million.
  • Active MTN Mobile Money customers increased by 3.9% quarter-on-quarter to 22.7 million.
  • Voice traffic (billable minutes) increased by 24.2%.
  • Total data traffic increased by 56.7%.
  • Group service revenue increased by 9.1%.
  • Group data revenue increased by 26.9%.

MTN Group CEO Rob Shuter said the group continued to focus on operational execution across its markets, leveraging off the strong network investment of the past few years.

“This allowed us to deliver an acceleration in service revenue growth to 9.1%, led by MTN Nigeria and MTN Ghana,” said Shuter.

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MTN South Africa shows huge mobile data growth