MTN Ghana exceed subscriber base target

MTN Ghana targeted 950,000 additional subscribers for 2012, but the third quarter (Q3) results of the MTN Group indicate MTN Ghana has gained 1.14 million as at September 30, 2012.

This indicates that three months before the end of 2012, MTN has exceeded its full year target by at least 64,000 additional subscribers and counting towards the fourth quarter (Q4) results in December 2012.

MTN Ghana closed 2011 with 10.156million subscribers and announced that its target for 2012 was 950,000. It has been growing subscribers sturdily since, and in the third quarter alone the company saw some 4.8% increase, crossing the 11millionth mark for the first time.

The company said this is “a strong result in a highly competitive market supported by attractive acquisition and usage based promotions as well as effective management of sales and marketing.”

It said data continued to show good growth due to an increased focus on distribution and coverage, adding that local currency ARPU (average revenue per user) increased by 2.6% from GHC11.3 to GHC 11.6 over the Q3 due to attractive promotions stimulating improved usage on the network.

MTN experience some grave network challenges over the period but it said those challenge are being addressed through the ongoing network rollout.

Indeed, the company on Sunday, October 29, 2012, dashed all customers two free minutes of call to MTN numbers with an apology for network quality problems over the past one or two months.

MTN also acknowledged that in spite of the increase in subscriber base, “the company showed a marginal decline in market share following the launch of a new entrant (Glo) at the end of the second quarter.”

The figures from the National Communication Authority shows MTN finished 2011 with 48% market share, but its current market share is just a little over 45%.

But it is not MTN alone which has been impacted by the entry of Glo. Within just four months of operations in Ghana, Glo has scooped an impressive 7% market share and that is telling on all the other five players on the market.

Meanwhile, at the group level, MTN’s subscriber base grew 3.8% year on year to reach 182.7million as at September 30, 2012.

The second quarter subscriber base of 136.56million subscribers place MTN as the 11th largest telecom operator in the world by subscriptions, according to a report by Wireless Intelligence. But a third quarter report is yet to be published.

MTN said it growth in subscriptions was particularly driven by driven growth in South Africa and Nigeria, two of its biggest markets.

The company reported 4.1% y-o-y growth to 24.498 million in South Africa, boosted by strong pre-paid user take-up, while in Nigeria it said customer numbers increased by 5.7% (on a net basis) to 45.640 million.