By Gugu Lourie
MTN announced its 2014 full year earnings today and revealed that smartphones in its network rose by 17.8% to 5.9m in the period.
MTN, SA’s second largest mobile phone operator, added that the number of data customers jumped 201% to 17.1m.
“To drive long-term sustainable growth across the Group, we will increase data revenue by encouraging uptake through increased smartphone penetration, competitive pricing, bundled services and increased speeds,” the company said on Wednesday.
MTN and Vodacom are bringing out their own-branded devices, including tablets and smartphones, as part of their ambitious plans to accelerate Internet uptake in SA and diversify their revenue from dwindling voice turnover.
In January 2014, MTN started retailing its own-branded Steppa 1, which has become the second-biggest selling smartphone in SA ahead of Vodacom’s Smart Kicka.
Furthermore, MTN customers are able since 2013 to access long-term evolution (LTE) over an extended South African footprint, offering faster broadband speeds and a better Internet experience. But the company didn’t disclose how many LTE-capable devices were sold to its subscribers.