MTN fights back for a bigger share of the mobile market

MTN published its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2018 this week, outlining its mobile subscriber growth and revenue figures for the period.

MTN South Africa saw a service revenue increase of 4.2%, with data revenue increasing by 12.7%.

Data revenue growth in the postpaid segment was particularly impressive, sitting at 30% year-over-year, which the company said was well ahead of the market.

Another major success for the mobile operator was its recovery in market share, with Group CEO Rob Shuter stating that MTN did not plan to lose any more ground to competitors.

Ups and downs

MTN South Africa has recovered from a loss in subscribers by adding almost 1.7 million customers since its most recent results.

The mobile operator now has a total of 25.4 million prepaid subscribers and 2.9 million postpaid users, excluding telemetry subscribers.

Shuter said the recent results marked a point where MTN would stop losing market share to competitors and begin to grow its subscriber base.

MTN and Vodacom occupy the second and first positions in the South African cellular market respectively, and MTN’s latest results show that it remains strongly in the fight for its share of users.

Mobile subscribers

To show how they stack up, we compared the mobile subscriber numbers – excluding telemetry customers – of Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, and Telkom.

Vodacom’s latest quarterly update showed that the company had a total of 43.8 million customers in South Africa, comprising 38.2 million prepaid and 5.6 million contract customers.

MTN’s latest financial results reflected that it had a local mobile subscriber base of 28.3 million customers.

Cell C’s latest financial results reflect 16.3 million South African customers. The company’s results did not reflect postpaid and prepaid subscriber counts.

Telkom’s interim results for the six months ended 30 September 2018 showed that it had a total of 6.5 million subscribers.

Network Prepaid Postpaid Total
Vodacom 38.2 million 5.6 million 43.8 million
MTN 25.4 million 2.9 million 28.3 million
Cell C N/A N/A 16.3 million
Telkom 4.9 million 1.6 million 6.5 million

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MTN fights back for a bigger share of the mobile market