Consumer choice in cellular providers revealed

World Wide Worx, a South African technology research company, recently released the results of its Mobility 2011 survey which showed MTN and Vodacom neck-and-neck for consumer market share with Cell C trailing behind.

Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx, explained that their results don’t reflect the overall market share of cellular providers in South Africa as it excludes business users.

Business contracts is a market segment where Vodacom is quite strong, Goldstuck said, so it is expected that Vodacom’s overall market share would be higher when all things are considered.

Another dimension measured by this year’s survey is the share operators have of secondary accounts. South Africa enjoys greater than 100% SIM penetration. Considering that not every South African owns a cellular phone, this means that numerous South Africans have more than one SIM.

Of the 1,203 people surveyed, 197 indicated that they have a secondary account (around 16%).

The share of both primary and secondary accounts are shown in the table below.

2010 SA Cellular operator consumer market share
Operator Primary accounts Secondary accounts
Urban Rural Total Urban Rural Total
Cell C 17% 17% 17% 21% 16% 19%
MTN 41% 44% 43% 32% 24% 29%
Virgin Mobile 1% 1% 1% 6% 15% 9%
Vodacom 41% 39% 40% 43% 45% 45%

Some columns add up to greater than 100% due to the rounding up of Virgin Mobile’s market share figures, which are below 1%.

These consumer market share statistics are very similar to the 2009 results: MTN and Vodacom were a close first and second, with Cell C trailing with 17% and Virgin coming in last with 1%.

The 2010 results above include 400 rural users that were surveyed, whereas the 2009 results only surveyed urban users.

MTN is slightly larger than Vodacom in rural areas, while they are on par in urban areas. MTN loses out on secondary accounts, which according to Goldstuck, is mostly due to Virgin Mobile.

Further information

Cellular operator market share << Are you voting with your wallet?

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Consumer choice in cellular providers revealed