MTN grows network performance lead over Vodacom

MTN CEO Rob Shuter said that MTN was pulling away from other South African mobile operators in terms of network performance.

Speaking at the company’s results presentation for the year ended 31 December 2019, Shuter said that MTN invested R7.6 billion into its South African network in 2019, which has resulted in the operator retaining its title of the best network in the country.

“Our ambition is to have the best network in the country,” he said.

“We put R7.6 billion into the network in 2019, and every single benchmark test shows that we are the best in the country.”

“Our internal benchmarks show that that the gap between us and competing operators has actually been widening,” Shuter added.

This means that according to its internal metrics, MTN’s is winning the network performance race against its biggest competitor in South Africa – Vodacom.

MyBroadband’s latest Mobile Network Quality Report shows that MTN continues to maintain its lead over its competitor with a network quality score of 9.85 compared to Vodacom’s 8.01.

The Mobile Network Quality Report also reflects MTN’s claim that the network performance gap is widening, with the most recently-measured difference of 1.84 points significantly higher than the gap of 1.28 measured in the previous period.

Headline changes and service revenue

The company’s South African operations saw the following headline changes reflected in its financial results:

  • Service revenue increased by 0.4%
  • Data revenue increased by 5.2%
  • Fintech revenue increased by 11.2%
  • Digital revenue decreased by 31.4%

The company said that as a result, EBITDA increased by 8.4% to R17 billion.

Capex investments were R11.29 billion on IFRS reported basis.

MTN said that it saw stronger performance in South Africa in the last quarter of 2019, with service revenue growing marginally for the year despite a difficult operating environment.

“Service revenue growth was supported by growth in national roaming revenue, but this was offset by a 4.1% reduction in consumer prepaid service revenue,” MTN said.

“The prepaid business came under pressure due to ICASA’s end-user subscriber service charter regulations, impacting out-of-bundle data revenue.”

MTN South Africa said it would have recorded service revenue growth of 1.2% if all Cell C roaming revenue had been recognised.

Now read: The best mobile network in South Africa

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MTN grows network performance lead over Vodacom