The pressures of SA’s Sim card registration law, better known as Rica, appear to have eased for mobile operator MTN, which released its subscriber numbers for its third financial quarter on Thursday.
The group’s figures for SA show an increase of 3,9% to 17,7m subscribers, which the company says came primarily from the prepaid market.
The group added 616 000 prepaid subscribers to its SA network, which it says is thanks to the success of MTN Zone Mahala, a new product which offers users cheaper calls depending on network load.
MTN SA subscribers represent just over half the subscriber numbers MTN has in the South and East African region.
Nigeria and Uganda both increased their subscriber figures by 5% and its Iranian operation boosted its numbers by 5,6%. Syria showed strong recovery over the quarter, increasing subscribers by 6,8%.
However, MTN will be disappointed by the decline in subscribers in Ghana, even though the company says it was expected.
The Ghana network dropped from 8,7m to 8,4m subscribers over the quarter, which MTN attributes to the implementation of Sim-card registration laws similar to those implemented in SA.
However, the group says the largest impact of the law in Ghana is now behind it, and it has already started to see new connections increase on the network.
MTN says average revenue per user has remained stable over the quarter. MTN SA remained steady at R152, the same figure produced in the last quarter. — Staff reporter, TechCentral