Huge MTN data growth
Data traffic on MTN South Africa’s network grew 46.7% between the first quarter of 2021 and 2022, and active data subscribers grew 14.1% to 17.3 million.
This underpinned a 14.3% increase in overall mobile data revenue, the company announced in a quarterly trading update on Friday.
“Data was made more affordable in the quarter with a 22.8% YoY reduction in the effective data tariff,” MTN stated.
“An active prepaid data subscriber now consumes an average of 4.0GB of data a month, up 37% YoY, and an active postpaid data subscriber uses nearly 11.8GB per month, an increase of 20%.”
MTN said that network availability and quality were affected by load-shedding from the national grid, and theft and vandalism of towers since Q4 2021.
MTN South Africa rolled out a resilience plan including additional batteries, generators, and enhanced security features to mitigate these issues.
The company announced it had already paid R3.3 billion in April 2022 for mid-band radio frequencies it secured during industry regulator Icasa’s spectrum auction.
With the purchase, MTN’s permanent spectrum holdings rose from 76MHz to 176MHz. It said it would use the resource to support the expansion of 4G and 5G services.
“The spectrum has been allotted for a 20-year period on a technology-neutral basis,” MTN said.
MTN said that its South African division’s performance outlook would be shaped by macroeconomic conditions in the country, such as load-shedding and global macroeconomic uncertainties.
These are expected to add to inflationary pressures, including costs and availability of food and fuel.
MTN warned this would further impact consumer spending power and patterns.