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MTN’s Nigerian Subscriber Base Declines By Over 6%

Telecoms giant MTN has lost about 4.5-million subscribers in Nigeria as it moved to comply with the government’s demand that it properly registers its customers.
Last year, Nigeria Communication Commission fined MTN N1.04trillion for failure to register some of its subscribers in the country’s drive to prevent Boko Haram militants using cell phones to co-ordinate attacks and buy arms.
In its quarterly report last month, the telecoms firm said that the Nigerian subscribers it was required to cut off meant its subscriber base in that country dropped 6.9% to 57-million from the end of December, causing its total subscriber base to fall 1.4% to 227.5-million.
Its South African subscriber numbers fell 1.7% from the December quarter, to 30.1-million.
Meanwhile, its domestic prepaid subscriber base declined by 1.8% to 24.9-million, which MTN blamed on “seasonal trends following strong promotions” over Christmas.
Its postpaid base declined 0.8% to 5.2-million, which the network said was largely due to “the alignment of the Autopage subscriber base to MTN’s, the disconnection of telemetry SIMs and the expiration of legacy low-cost packages”.
The biggest decline was in prepaid average monthly usage, which fell 10.1% to R68.30, while postpaid fell 5.6% to R154.70.

MTN said its average revenue from SA was hurt during the quarter by “the exceptionally unfortunate 48-hour network outage experienced in February”.
Data revenue grew by 20.1% in the March quarter compared with a year earlier, contributing 24.2% of the group’s total revenue.
Data traffic rocketed by 123.3% from the previous year while voice traffic grew 12.1%, MTN’s trading update said.

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