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MTN Loses Market Share in Key Markets

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Telecoms operator MTN has lost market share in several key markets over the past five years, including Nigeria and South Africa.

This is according to the group’s five-year review document published as part of its integrated report for the year ended 31 December 2017.

In Nigeria, MTN’s biggest market, its market share was as high as 49% in 2013 and 2014 but by 2017 had fallen to 42%. In another key market, Iran, the group’s market share has been relatively stable, fluctuating marginally between 46% and 47% between 2013 and 2017. Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Syria have also seen declines over the five-year period.

In South Africa, MTN’s market share has dropped by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3% between 2013 and 2017.

In 2013, MTN had 35% market share; this dropped slightly to 34% in 2014 and 2015, and then grew to 36% in 2016 before dropping down to 31% in 2017.

However, some markets are gaining market share, including Ghana, which grew from 50% market share in 2013 to 55% by the end of 2017. Uganda gained ground from 54% in 2013 to 56% in 2017 and Sudan also ticked up from 34% in 2013 to 35% five years later.

MTN says it has the largest market share in 14 out of the 22 countries it operates in; down slightly from being number one in 15 countries between 2013 and 2016.

The five-year review reveals headline earnings for the group have been falling by a CAGR of 40% over the past five years.

In 2013, MTN’s headline earnings were almost R25.9 billion; this amount rose to R28.2 billion in 2014, then down to R13.6 billion in 2015. A year later, the group saw a headline loss of R1.4 billion before swinging back to a profit of close to R3.3 billion in 2017.

The headline loss in 2016 was significantly impacted by the group’s regulatory fine in Nigeria. In June 2016, MTN agreed to a settlement amount of 330 billion naira ($1.671 billion at the time) to be paid to the Nigerian government in six instalments over three years. This after it failed to meet a deadline to disconnect 5.1 million unregistered SIM cards on its Nigerian network in 2015.

A decline in MTN’s share price on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange has seen the group’s market capitalisation plummet from R409.5 billion at the end of 2014 to R253.4 billion at the end of 2017.

Subscriber swings

Overall subscriber numbers have fluctuated over the five-year period as well. In 2013, MTN had 207.8 million group subscribers and this grew steadily over the next three years to 240.4 million in 2016.

However, the number dropped by over 23 million in 2017 to 217.2 million due to a new initiative to modernise its subscriber definitions implemented last year.

In 2017, Nigeria’s subscriber numbers of 52 million made up 24.1% of MTN’s overall group subscribers while South Africa’s 30 million subscribers were 13.6% of the total. The rest of the countries were broken down on a regional basis. The biggest was the Middle East and North Africa region, which made up 31.1% of total subscribers; Southern and East Africa and Ghana accounted for 17.8% of subscribers and West and Central Africa for 13.4%.


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NCC Temporarily Suspends Issuance of New Licenses

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Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says it has temporarily suspended the issuance of new licenses in some categories.

NCC Temporarily Suspends Issuance of New Licenses

The commission said the categories included interconnect exchange license, mobile virtual network operator license and value added service aggregator license.

Reuben Mouka, director of Public Affairs, NCC,  in a statement in Abuja on Friday, said the commission acted in line with its powers under the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003.

“This temporary suspension is necessary to enable the commission to conduct a thorough review of several key areas within these categories, including the current level of competition, market saturation and current market dynamics.

“The public is invited to note that during the suspension period commencing on May 17, new application for the aforementioned licenses will not be accepted.

“This is without prejudice to pending applications before the commission will be considered on their merits.

“Any enquiry or clarification in respect of this suspension notice should be forwarded to: [email protected],” NCC said.

 

 

 

 


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Cable Cuts Expose Vulnerabilities in Africa’s Internet Infrastructure

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The vulnerability of East Africa’s countries was starkly revealed once again in the aftermath of the damage inflicted upon an undersea cable, leading to widespread internet outages across the region.

Cable Cuts Expose Vulnerabilities in Africa's Internet Infrastructure

According to Business Day Africa, this incident marks the third cable cut this year, plunging millions of users in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda into a state of connectivity limbo.

The disruption caused by the severance of two vital submarine cables- the East Africa Submarine System (EASSy) and Seacom, resulted in significant delays in internet access, so much so that operations at the US embassy in Dar es Salaam had to be suspended.

EASSy spans a staggering 10,000 kilometres along the eastern coast of Africa, boasting nine landing stations strategically positioned in Sudan, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Comoros, Madagascar, Mozambique, and South Africa.

Tanzania bore the brunt of the outage, experiencing the most severe disruptions, as evidenced by data from the Internet Outage Tracker, compelling the embassy to halt its services for a period of two days.

This latest incident follows a series of challenges earlier this year when connectivity in East Africa was hampered by damage sustained by three submarine cables traversing the Red Sea.

Internet users in East Africa have been grappling with intermittent connections since Sunday, May 12, 2024.

The International Cable Protection Committee attributes the damage to a probable encounter with the anchor of a cargo ship, allegedly targeted by the Yemen-based Houthi rebel group.

However, repair efforts have been impeded by ongoing tensions surrounding access rights to the affected waters.

Commenting on the situation, Bright Simons, research lead at the IMANI Center for Policy and Education in Ghana, lamented the lack of a comprehensive regional framework for telecom emergencies in East Africa, according to SemaFor news.

He noted that despite the region’s advanced regional integration initiatives, similar to those seen in the Southern African Customs Union and Francophone units, the absence of such mechanisms has left operators scrambling to establish ad hoc cross-border arrangements.


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Nigeria’s Omoniyi Ibietan, elected Secretary-General of APRA

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Omoniyi Ibietan, Head Media Relations at the Nigerian Communications Commission, fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) and African Public Relations Association (APRA), has just been elected the Secretary-General of APRA at the ongoing 35th Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting taking place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

Ibietan has promised to work with other members of the Executive Council to continue the trajectory of reforms in APRA, expand the democratic space by encouraging greater participation of national public relations institutions on the Continent and work more closely with the African Union Commission and Council of Ministers to put public relations at the heart of policy, programmes, and project implementation. Ibietan was elected into a three-man Executive Council. The other two members are Arik Karani (Kenya), President, and Dr. Michele Mekeme (Cameroon), Vice President.

OMONIYI P. IBIETAN is a journalist, writer, and author. As Head of Media Relations Management at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), where he oversees aspects of the public communication strategy of the national regulatory authority for telecommunication in Nigeria. Earlier in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic, he was Special Media Advisor to the Federal Minister of Information and Communication.

He has over 20 years of experience in media and communication scholarship and practice, spanning journalism, academia, policy discourse, communication strategy, regulation, and stakeholder relations.

He earned BA and MA in Communication Arts and Communication & Language Arts from the Universities of Uyo and Ibadan in Nigeria, respectively, graduating atop his classes. Earlier, he obtained a diploma in journalism with distinction from the Moscow-Based International Institute of Journalism.

He holds a Ph.D. in Communication from the North-West University in South Africa, with specialisation in political communication. He is a IP3 certified regulation specialist and holds a mini MBA in telecommunications from NEOTELIS in Paris.

He is also a member of the African Council for Communication Education (ACCE), an Associate Registered Practitioner of Advertising (arpa) and member of the International Institute of Communications (IIC), the world’s only policy debating platform for the converged communications industry.

As a scholar, he focuses on patterns of political communication through new media; media and culture studies; and theoretical & normative foundations of communication in relation to democracy and freedom. He is on the faculty of the Nigerian campus of Italy-based Rome Business School (RBS), where he teaches doctoral students PR & Advertising and Media Management & Communication Strategy. He also facilitates learning to students in the Master of Corporate Communication programme at RBS.

His first book, SOCIAL MEDIA, SOCIAL DEMOGRAPHY, AND VOTING BEHAVIOUR IN NIGERIA, was published by Premium Times Books in Washington in May 2023.

He has travelled extensively in Africa, North America, Europe, and Asia.

He is married, has children, plays tennis and scrabble, loves reading and writing, and loves meeting people, especially people from other cultures.

At the ongoing conference, Ibietan presented the first paper at the commencement of business sessions. The title of his paper is DIGITAL INCLUSION AS ARBITER OF ACCESSIBLE PUBLIC RELATIONS: A CASE OF NIGERIAN COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION.

Using Castells’ Theory of the Network Society and the Knowledge Gap Theory and based on the actions of the Nigerian government through the activities of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Ibietan advanced a thesis that digital inclusion is the arbiter of digital public relations.

Through implementation of laws, policies, guidelines, developmental regulation, collaborative partnerships, social investments, operational efficiency and ancillary actions that are consequential and quantifiable, and using copious pictorial evidence, Omoniyi discoursed a perspective that NCC’s digital inclusion programmes, projects and activities are foundational to digital economy because investment in and coordination of expansion of digital infrastructure, demonstrating their affordances and enhancing people’s access to such resources, constitute the building blocks and raison d’être of digital economy and inherently digital public relations.

APRA, the successor to the Federation of African Public Relations Association (FAPRA), instituted in Nairobi in 1975, exists to foster unity of Africans and their global allies through interactions and exchange of meaning. Pivoted on standardisation of public relations practice and scholarship on the Continent to enhance its relevance to the African reality, APRA member states and individuals meet annually at a location in any of its regional centres (East, North, South, West, Central, Indian Ocean Islands, and Francophone) to have a conversation with a thematic focus on any of its key intervention areas (Health & Education, Economic Integration, Good Governance, Tourusm & Leisure, and Infrastructure Development). This year’s theme is ‘ONE AFRICA, ONE VOICE: BRIDGING AFRICA’S COMMUNICATION DIVIDE’.

APRA Côte d’Ivoire 2024 is endorsed by the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, the Holding Opinion & Public (THOP), and major global PR associations, namely the International Public Relations Association (IPRA), The International Communications

Consultancy Organisation (ICCO), the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management (GA), the African Union Commission (AUC), and PR national associations across the continent.

Additionally, the conference featured the eighth edition of the Innovation Summit (IN2SUMMIT) and includes the seventh edition of the SABRE Awards Africa, holding tonight.

The APRA secretariat is in Nigeria, and the body maintains an observer status with the African Union.


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