Zambia hints at fifth telco operator

A fifth telco
for Zambia?

Enough room says
industry regulator.

ITWeb Africa

Wednesday, Feb 26th

Compliance in Nigeria costs MTN

Compliance in Nigeria costs MTN

MTN says the disconnection of 4,5 million subscribers in February in Nigeria, related to the registration compliance process, has impacted on subscriber numbers in that country and contributed to a 6,9% reduction in subscribers.

This is according to a quarterly update issued by the company for the period ending 31 March 2016.

In October 2015 the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) imposed a US$3.9bn fine on MTN's Nigerian operation, related to failure to disconnect 5.1 million unregistered SIM cards on the Nigerian network.

In early March the mobile operator reportedly offered to pay US1.5-billion (R23.1 billion) towards the fine and has continued to issue cautionary announcements to shareholders requesting that they exercise caution when dealing with its stock.

A comparison between Q1 2016 and Q4 2015 shows that overall, MTN Group subscribers have decreased by 1,4% - which the company attribute to disconnections in Nigeria and compliance with subscriber registration processes.

Seasonality and the alignment of the subscriber base recently acquired from Autopage is said to have impacted South African subscriber numbers, where the operator experienced a quarter-on-quarter 1,7% drop in subscriber numbers (to 30,1 million).

In its report the operator also highlighted network improvement and the rollout of 3G and 4G sites, adding that capital expenditure year-to-date has doubled year-on-year to R6 974-million.

MTN stated also that its organic data revenue increased by 20,1% year-on-year and contributes 24,2% to total revenue.

Voice traffic experienced a jump to 12,1% and data to 123,3% year-on-year.

An overview of the company's performance in other regions include Uganda where the operator reported a 7,8% quarter-on-quarter increase in subscribers to 9,6 million, in Ghana where the company experienced a 4,6% increase in subscribers to 17,0 million and in Cameroon where it also increased its subscriber base by 3,1% to 9,5 million.

MTN Group executive chairman Phuthuma Nhleko said in the report that, "We believe we have now dealt with all the subscribers who were considered to be non-compliant. The operation continues to focus on reconnecting subscribers through proactive engagement and winback offers. Following the re-instatement of regulatory services in March 2016, MTN Nigeria continued to engage the regulatory authorities and we hope to receive approval from the regulator for approval of promotional products and services during the current month."

Recent data available through the NCC stated that while the country experienced an overall decline of mobile internet users across the country's telecom networks, MTN was the hardest hit and lost more than six million internet subscribers in the five months from September 2015 to February 2016.

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