Blue Label Telecoms said on Monday that Cell C has enjoyed “massive” growth in the past year, while MTN has “lost a little bit of direction”.
This is according to Brett Levy, co-CEO at Blue Label, which is the country’s biggest distributor of prepaid airtime. The company’s scale provides an insight into the performance of South Africa’s mobile operators, particularly in the prepaid space.
Though Blue Label is no longer providing a market share breakdown for sales through its channels — something it’s published alongside previous results — Levy said market share trends of recent years continued in the company’s financial year ended May 2015.
In broad terms, Vodacom maintained its market position thanks to good products and intuitive new ideas, Levy said.
“We’ve definitely seen a massive increase at Cell C, and not only at the bottom end. A lot more of us talking about taking out a Cell C contract,” he added.
“The one that’s struggling the most is probably MTN. They’ve had a lot of changes internally and I think they need to settle down.
“MTN’s not going anywhere, but they need to get more settled and get back on the right path. They have a new CEO [Mteto Nyati], who we know very well.”
Nyati, a former MD of Microsoft South Africa, used to serve on the Blue Label board when Microsoft was a shareholder in the business.
“If you looked at last 12 months, Vodacom maintained, Cell C grew and MTN lost a little bit of direction,” Levy said. “But the next 12 months are interesting — you won’t keep MTN down too long. And Cell C is on a massive drive with great products.”
Levy said Blue Label wants all three operators to do well. “The more the competition, the more important the distribution becomes. We encourage a strong Cell C, Vodacom and MTN. It’s all good for us.” — © 2015 NewsCentral Media