Mobile Data ‘Boom’ Drives MTN SA’s Data Revenue, Voice Subscribers Decline


MTN South Africa’s third-quarter data revenue rose by 12,5% as it attracts more data customers, but the mobile phone operator is losing voice customers.

At the end of the quarter, MTN South Africa had 23,7 million prepaid users, reflecting a 3,4% decline quarter-on-quarter (QoQ), 2,9 million postpaid subscribers up 2,1% QoQ and 2,8 million telemetry subscribers.

The country’s second-biggest mobile phone operator ‘s third-quarter results demonstrated resilience in a weak economy, where consumers felt the pressure of a higher VAT rate, becoming increasingly price sensitive.

As customers shop around for better deals, MTN South Africa took steps to transform data prices, including introducing attractive social media bundles and CVM offerings.

In line with MTN’S prepaid portfolio revamp, which has seen adjustments to Data Bundles portfolio and selected price plans MTN introduced the new 100% BONUS Starter Pack. It also introduced Entertainment Pass bundles which offer customers, on select price plans, access to Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, YouTube, Deezer, Simfy Africa, and DStv Now.

As a result, customers optimized their data and voice spend and the number of MTN South Africa’s active data subscribers rose by 6,7% quarter-on-quarter to 13,5 million.
MTN South Africa recorded year-on-year service revenue growth of 3%, edging closer to its medium-term target of mid-single-digit growth.

The company’s digital revenue increased by 9,9%, while outgoing voice revenue declined by 8,4%.

Digital revenue refers to Mobile Money (MoMo) and value-added services (VAS) revenue.

The mobile phone company also disclosed on Monday that higher device prices the weakness in the rand exchange rate and increased device sales in the quarter negatively impacted EBITDA margin. MTN South Africa’s EBITDA was little changed year-on-year at 34,5% from 34,8%.


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