How MTN’s network has changed over the past year

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Speaking at MTN’s results presentation for the six months ended 30 June 2018, MTN Group CEO Robert Shuter said the company has had a solid start to 2018 and has seen continued growth in South Africa.

Shuter said MTN was happy with its network rollout and performance in South Africa, with the company continuing to invest in data infrastructure.

“I think there is strong momentum in the market. We are putting the coverage out there to realise our dreams and ambitions for data,” he said.

Subscriber numbers for the group were measured at 223.4 million in the period, with 71.2 million active data users.

In South Africa, MTN now boasts the following subscriber numbers:

  • 30.2 million total subscribers.
  • 5.6 million postpaid subscribers.
  • 24.6 million prepaid subscribers.
  • 12.7 million active data users.

South African blended average revenue per user (ARPU) decreased from R96.14 in Q1 2018 to R94.23 in Q2 2018.

Robert Rob Shuter MTN CEO
MTN CEO Rob Shuter.

Smartphone penetration

The company also noted that smartphone penetration continued to increase along with data usage volumes.

Smartphone penetration across all countries in which MTN operates is now 43%, up from 38% in the same period last year.

54% more 4G devices were sold in South Africa in the first half of 2018, too, which has driven data revenue for the company.

Data usage volumes across MTN’s network have increased substantially, from 485PB in June 2017 to 932PB in June 2018.

Shuter said that voice call quality still remains a major factor for network performance, and MTN has improved its call drop rate compared to the same period last year.

Blended 2G and 3G call drop percentages in South Africa is now 0.33% – compared to 0.43% in June 2017.

“Customer experience of the network is still driven by the voice experience, so we are really working on delivering the best voice experience possible,” said Shuter.

Voice and SMS revenue continues to decline as data usage soars, however, with voice revenue in South Africa decreasing from R8.4 billion to R7.8 billion over the last year.

SMS revenue decreased from R676 million in June 2017 to R574 million in the latest reporting period.

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