MTN South Africa Attracts More Customers As COVID-19 Bites

MTN South Africa attracted 1.9 million new customers to its Bozza network for the quarter ended 30 September 2020.

The mobile phone company said this pushed its total local subscribers to 30.9 million.

“The majority of additions were prepaid customers, reaching a total of 24,3 million and marking the largest quarterly increase in nearly 18 months. Postpaid subscriber numbers remained broadly flat at 6,6 million, primarily as a result of churn on short-term COVID-19 related deals,” the company informed investors on Friday.

“Excluding the net impact of these deals, the postpaid subscriber base increased 168 100 for the quarter.”

MTN added that data traffic grew by 80.6% and with a 0.5 million rise in active data users to 14.7 million, both of which supported a 16% increase in mobile data revenue.

“In line with the commitment to improving the affordability of data for its customers, MTN SA has reduced its effective data tariff by approximately 34,7% since September 2019,” the company said.

MTN said wholesale revenue declined by 14,4%, impacted by the lost national roaming revenue from the discontinuation of the agreement with Telkom and the effect of continuing to account for Cell C revenue on a cash basis.

MTN SA recognised R1,3 billion in national roaming revenue in the nine months to 30 September 2020 (taking into consideration that no Cell C revenue was recognised in Q3 2019), while R698 million of Cell C revenue remained unrecognised as at September 2020.

MTN SA produced a solid EBITDA margin of 39,3%, expanding by 2,7pp, aided by the reductions in device volumes and subsidies, execution of the cost efficiency programme as well as channel optimisation.

Since launching MoMo in South Africa in January 2020, this service continues to scale, with approximately 2,0 million registered users at 30 September 2020. The focus remains on growing the platform through innovative and relevant service offerings.

Since launching MTN 5G in June, MTN SA continued to deliver 5G connectivity with more than 100 sites and across multiple spectrum bands. Our network resilience programme is mitigating the impacts of load shedding and load reduction in order to guarantee the best customer experience, despite a further increase in power outages in September.

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