South Africa-based MTN Group said it is total revenue for Nigeria in the third quarter rose by 11.2% supported by data revenue growth of 72.1%.
MTN is Nigeria’s largest mobile carrier with over 50 million subscribers.
In the third quarter, MTN Group said its total subscribers fell to 230.2 million, “largely driven by lower reported subscribers in Nigeria as we continue to refine our active subscriber definitions as well as the disconnection of approximately 750 000 subscribers in Uganda as a result of regulatory SIM registration requirements”.
For Nigeria, the company’s subscriber base fell to 50.3 million, which is a 5.2% quarter on quarter fall in total customer base.
As a sign that MTN Nigeria and other carriers have increased rates across product lines, the company’s average revenue per user, ARPU, has increased despite losing over 5 million subscribers since it started deactivating unregistered numbers last year. MTN said its ARPU for Nigeria rose to NGN1,407 in third quarter 2017 from NGN1,047 for the same quarter last year.
Nigeria’s telecom market had witnessed a rocky operational environment since Nigeria’s economy slipped into recession last year.
Apart from the impact of the NGN330 billion fine the company is paying the Nigerian government, voice revenue has further fallen as over-the-top application such as WhatsApp and BBM Messenger have eaten into voice revenue which used to account for over 70% of the company’s revenue.
MTN has not also given an update on its proposed listing on the Nigeria Stock Exchange, NSE. The company in its last update on the matter said it will for the first time in Nigeria, carry out the first online and mobile-driven initial public offering, IPO.