Thursday, 23 August 2012

Will Etisalat Nigeria still be ranked 4th by end-2013?

Etisalat is targeting subscriber growth of 45 percent by 2013. Currently the smallest GSM mobile operator in Nigeria (excluding the moribund NITEL’s MTel mobile unit), it aims to grow its subscriber base to 20 million by the end of 2013 from the August number of 13.8 million that Steven Evans, Chief Executive Officer claimed in an interview with the Khaleej Times. Although Evans said the achievement was through users migrating from other operators, it still leaves the small problem of very well, long established competitors that are also investing in network infrastructure. 

Is the 20 million achievable by end-2013, and where will it place Etisalat in relation to the competition? Assuming the Etisalat is able to maintain the current high level of growth, then ‘Africa & Middle East Telecom-Week’ estimates it is likely to still be in fourth place ... although closing rapidly on Airtel. Unless, of course, Airtel can leverage all that fibre optic cable it's been laying recently.
Nigeria Mobile Subscribers by Operator to 4Q 2013 showing Etisalat forecast rank
                                               NCC and Blycroft estimates  c. 2012 Blycroft Publishing

Readers may like to check out the Middle East Mobile Factbook 2012 which looks at some of the issues facing Etisalat in its international endeavours, whilst Airtel in Africa’ provides a useful summary of Airtel’s first 24-months in Africa, including a SWOT analysis.

Etisalat said it plans to invest up to USD 500 million in 2012 and again in 2013 to improve infrastructure and fund expansion in Nigeria.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Vodacom realignment

In a footnote to its Half Year 2012 Trading Statement, Vodacom made reference to the change in the basis of reporting customers in its African operations.
It appears that - according to Vodacom - it has traditionally reported total customers as mobile customers registered on Vodacom’s network, which have not been disconnected (customers being disconnected after 215 days of inactivity), including inactive customers.
Now Vodacom has revised its reporting, and is showing the total number of mobile customers using any service during the last three months. This includes customers paying a monthly fee that entitles them to use the service even if they do not actually use the service and those customers who are active whilst roaming.

It will be recalled that this change was originally initiated in the DRC in 4Q 2009 when it ‘wrote off’ some 882,000 subscribers, or around 20 percent of the subscriber base. Check out the free whitepaper on Vodacom and owning group Vodafone's activities in Africa.

The chart shows the Vodacom subscriber numbers back-dated to show ’90-day’ active totals, although the DRC figures are unchanged from previous recent reporting.
For more on mobile subscriber numbers in Africa, by operator, check out The Africa & Middle East Mobile Telecoms Market in Figures 2Q 2012.