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

Five mobility startups to watch in 2024

Connecting Africa has compiled a list of five mobility startups that are making a difference in the communities they serve.

Story

Orange Ventures, Digital Africa promise more funding for startups

Orange Ventures and Digital Africa are teaming up to invest more in tech startups in Africa and the Middle East through Digital Africa's Fuz program and the Orange Digital Center network.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Sponsored video

More videos

Follow us on X

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Upcoming events

Africa Tech Festival 2024
November 11-14, 2024
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

Uber's Marjorie Saint-Lot on inclusion and sustainability in Africa

Uber's Country Manager for Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, Marjorie Saint-Lot, shares how the ride-hailing company is approaching public-private partnerships, environmentally friendly initiatives and gender inclusion in Africa.

Story

The 100 most influential African leaders in 2023

A new report from Africa Tech Festival and Connecting Africa puts a spotlight on the top 100 African leaders in the telecoms and technology sector in 2023.

Story

Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

More Africa Tech perspectives

Guest Perspectives

Story

How e-mobility could transform Africa's transport sector

By Francis Hook

ICT analyst Francis Hook delves into Africa's e-mobility sector and unpacks the challenges faced locally and the benefits the move to electric vehicles could bring to urban transport systems.

Story

Omdia View: April 2024

By Omdia Analysts

April 2024's telecoms highlights in the Middle East and Africa included a license for Starlink in Ghana, new mobile termination rates in Ethiopia, and 6G trials in Bahrain – that and more in the latest Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up
Tag id test-002