Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

4G/5G

MTN dominates market share in over half its operations

Article Image
MTN has the biggest market share in 13 out of the 21 countries where it operates mobile networks in Africa and the Middle East.

This is according to MTN's five-year review 2019 document published last week. The review shows that back in 2015 the pan-African operator had the biggest market share in 15 countries, but that dropped to 14 countries in 2017 and then to 13 in 2019.

MTN also published specific stats for a few countries which showed it had lost market share in its home country of South Africa over the five years, but it had gained traction in its largest operation of Nigeria and consistent performer Ghana.

MTN dominates in Ghana with a market share of 56%, up by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2% from 2015 when its market share was 52%. In Nigeria its market share was just shy of 50% in 2019, growing from 45% in 2015.

Ivory Coast and Uganda had both seen CAGR growth of 2% over the five years, with market shares in 2019 of 34% and 55%, respectively. Sudan also saw a slight tick up from 34% in 2015 to 35% in 2019.

However, the telco's market share in South Africa dropped by a CAGR of 5% over the five years from a high of 35% in 2016 to just 27% in 2019.

Middle Eastern countries like Iran and Syria also saw reductions. Iran dropped from a market share of 47% in 2015 to 43% in 2019, and Syria's market share fell from 42% in 2015 to 37% in 2019. Cameroon also saw a drop from 56% five years ago to 49% in 2019.

MTN market share per country
Stats courtesy of MTN's five-year review 2019 document.
Stats courtesy of MTN's five-year review 2019 document.

Subscribers
Overall, the group has added 18.3 million subscribers over the last five years, despite a major drop in 2017. At the end of 2019, MTN had 250.8 million users across its 21 operations.

MTN's ambition is to get to 300 million subscribers, with 200 million active data users and 100 million digital and Mobile Money (MoMo) users.

MTN Nigeria's subscriber numbers grew by 3 million overall over the five years, despite dropping 10 million customers between 2016 and 2017 when it faced strict subscriber registration requirements in the country. The lucrative operation regained subscribers in 2018 and 2019, bringing numbers up to 64 million at the end of last year.

Ghana also saw good five-year growth, from 16 million customers in 2015 to 20 million in 2019. Ivory Coast and Uganda also grew their bases by 4 million over the five years. Iran's subscribers only grew by 1 million over the five years while Syria's user numbers stayed steady at 6 million over the entire period.

MTN South Africa was the only operation, out of the nine disclosed, that saw a subscriber drop over the five-year period. MTN South Africa lost 2 million customers in that timeframe, dropping from 31 million users in 2015 to 29 million in 2019.

MTN subscribers per country
Stats courtesy of MTN's five-year review 2019 document.
Stats courtesy of MTN's five-year review 2019 document.

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Story

Customer experience is telco's next 'battleground'

South African social data and insights company BrandsEye thinks its unique blend of AI and human intelligence could help Africa's telcos face a battleground around customer service.

Story

Liquid, Project Taara beam broadband across Congo River

Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Alphabet's Project Taara have found a way to bridge a particularly stubborn connectivity gap between Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo and Kinshasa in the DRC.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: August 2021

By Omdia Analysts

Omdia's analysts provide context and analysis about MTN's decision to exit Syria and not bid again for an Ethiopian license, as well as 5G news from Mauritius, Ghana, Mayotte and Reunion.

Story

Research Bites: Blockchain potential for SA agriculture

By Roberto Mavilia and Roberta Pisani

This article, in collaboration with the African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development explores how blockchain can be used in the agricultural sector to help improve production and distribution processes.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

AfricaCom perspectives

Story

Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.

Story

Accelerating women in STEM: In conversation with GirlCode's Tinyiko Simbine

GirlCode co-founder and CFO Tinyiko Simbine talks about why it's important to help girls and young women excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Story

How Poa Internet is unlocking meaningful connectivity in East Africa

Poa Internet's CEO Andy Halsall shares his views on what it takes to develop last-mile connectivity and get Africans online in a meaningful way.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Upcoming events

More Upcoming events

Flash poll

All polls

Archived webinars

Digital Skills Enhancing Human Capital

As nations begin to look beyond the crisis of COVID-19 to the new future of work, an opportunity to leverage this disruption as a powerful catalyst for positive change exists – one that could reshape the future and provide more accessible, fair, and impactful digital education and training.

In this webinar, we focus on how digital skills can enhance human capital and help realise the extraordinary potential of intelligent, 4IR-ready African workforces.

Key topics include:

  • Importance of having more than basic digital skills – upskilling & reskilling
  • Championing access to online educational resources – affordable and reliable internet, electricity and hardware
  • Future career options for industry specific roles: Cloud, AI, industrial IoT, big data analytics
  • Education 4.0: How updating educational curricula is key for growth
  • The importance of progressive, industry-driven educational policy frameworks

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up