Business News of 2014-07-09

Four telcos customer numbers fall

Voice subscriptions of four mobile network operators in the country reduced in April this year as the industry grew by less than one percent in the month.
tiGO, Airtel, Glo and Expresso all saw a marginal drop in their respective subscription numbers at a time MTN and Vodafone added more than 236,000 new subscriptions to their customer base.
According to the latest market numbers from the National Communication Authority (NCA), the industry- which boasts of six operators- grew by 0.52% between March and April this year, bringing the total mobile phone subscription lines to a little over 28.8 million in a country with 26 million people.
Vodafone Ghana emerged the highest gainer in the month under review with an addition of 164,000 new subscriptions to bring its total subscription figures to over 6.6 million.
MTN followed in the mobile voice subscription league table in April as it signed on 71,000 subscriptions to record more than 13 million mobile phone lines on its network.
In the month of April, tiGO lost about 13,000 subscribers, which reduced its net subscriptions to a little over 4 million while Airtel also lost 38,084 subscribers ending up with 3,502,121 to end the first four months of this year.
At the same time, Expresso‘s subscription decreased by 497 subscribers, ending the month of April with a subscription of 154,207 while Glo’s subscription also reduced by 210 subscribers, bringing their total subscription to 1,348,162 subscribers.
Vodafone’s tremendous gains in subscriptions in April, MTN cemented its position as the biggest network operator in Ghana controlling 45.56% of the market share as against Vodafone’s 23.06%.
tiGO now has a share of 14.01% while Airtel, Glo and Expresso boast of a market share of 12.15%, 4.68% and 0.54% respectively.
The NCA estimates that mobile phone penetration is now 109%, which is considered by some operators as overrated following widespread incidence of “multi-simming”, which happens when one subscriber owns more than one SIM card.
Some operators have therefore called for concerted efforts to deepen the business operating environment to bring communication services to a lot more people.
An official of the NCA explained to the B&FT that the Authority uses the accepted international formulae in calculating the mobile penetration rate saying that the concern should not be about the penetration rate as “there is no ceiling to the rate and that the country’s liberalised telecom environment means the penetration rate could even hit 600 per cent.”
Source: B&FT
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