MTN Nigeria boost the Group first quarter revenue report by a strong 71.3% data revenue starting the year with an 11.6% increase in total revenue.
The MTN Group also recorded a massive performance in the data market segment as its revenue growth in first quarter revenue showed that data revenue was 20% to the total revenue for the period under review.
The telecoms operators quarterly update for the three months ended 31 March showed increased 7.1% by a data revenue spike of 29.4% yearly while voice traffic increase by 2% and total data traffic by 145%.
But the company said that its Group subscribers dropped by 1.5% quarterly, to almost 237 million “largely as a result of restatements to subscriber numbers in Ghana, Rwanda and Zambia” adding that yearly total subscribers grew by 3% in MTN’s 22 operations across Africa and the Middle East.
According to new MTN group president and Chief Executive Officer, Rob Shuter reported subscriber numbers was lower than it had expected, adding “this is largely the result of an on-going review of subscriber definitions. We are planning to further modernise our internal subscriber definitions to more closely align with the changing mix of revenue streams and will report on this at the end of the first half of 2017.”
Network improvements have seen year-to-date capital expenditure of R4.6 billion so far saying the first three months of 2016 saw a continuation of the improving operational momentum experienced in the fourth quarter of 2016, but acknowledges MTN still has work to do to meet its full-year targets.
MTN said while the momentum is encouraging, the on-going review of value-added services subscribers will put pressure on digital revenue for the balance of the year.
Country by country report showed that MTN Nigeria’s subscriber base declined by 2.3% quarter-on-quarter attributed to new regulations that require all subscriber connections to take place in permanent brick-and-mortar structures saying this led to a marked reduction in gross connections across the industry.
Meanwhile, MTN Nigeria has also continued with the process of excluding subscribers whose only activity is receiving incoming text messages.
Shuter revealed that the on-going network investment in Nigeria is delivering continued improvements in data quality in the metro areas and highlights MTN group’s commitment to the Nigerian market, notwithstanding the challenging macro environment.
MTN said that a focus on the rollout of its Nigerian data network remains a key element in the group’s medium-term growth strategy.
On regional basis, the Group said that the quarterly update showed MTN Irancell saw total revenue jump over 19% as data revenue soared 76.7% yearly but across the rest of the Middle East and North Africa region, subscribers decreased by 1.4% driven by a decline in Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan while Sudan and Cyprus contributed positively to the region’s subscriber base.
Excluding SA, the South and East Africa region’s subscriber base remained fairly flat quarterly while Uganda, Rwanda and Swaziland contributed positively but the growth was offset by a decline in subscribers in Zambia, South Sudan and Botswana.
In the West and Central Africa region excluding Nigeria, subscribers declined by 3.6%, mainly as a result of the disconnection of subscribers in Ghana, while Ivory Coast, Benin and Guinea Bissau contributed positively to the region’s subscriber base.