MTN (South Africa)

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MTN is a leading telecoms provider in emerging markets, primarily in Africa. It is perhaps best known as the #2 mobile service in South Africa (behind Vodacom) with almost 30m subscribers (equivalent to around 31% local share). However MTN also has extensive operations in more than 20 other countries across the continent including the Middle East. Combined subscriber numbers were 217m by the end of 2017, including over 52m in Nigeria and over 43m in Iran through a joint venture with local operator Irancell. It is the #1 operator in Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Cameroon, #2 in Iran and the Ivory Coast. It is expected to issue an IPO of its Nigerian subsidiary during 2018. The group was fined around $4bn in 2015 by Nigerian regulators for delays in disconnecting users with unregistered SIM cards, leading to the resignation of group CEO Sifiso Dabengwa. The fine was later renegotiated to $900m; Dabenga was eventually replaced in 2017 by Rob Shuter. Yet problems in Nigeria continue to plague the group. In 2018, it was ordered by the Nigerian government to return $8bn supposedly transferred out of the country in breach of foreign exchange regulations. MTN denies any wrongdoing. It was also fined $2bn in back-taxes. The business was formed in South Africa in 1994 as M-Cell, and has gradually pieced together its continental footprint through a series of acquisitions of regional providers and local frequency licenses. Combined revenues for 2017 were over ZAR 133bn ($10.0bn), of which 32% was generated in SA and 27% in Nigeria. Subscribers may access account assignments and contact information. The searchable account assignments database is available to full subscribers to premium services. Click here to access Adbrands account assignments (subscribers only); or see here for information on how to subscribe.

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Who are the competitors of MTN? Key rivals in South Africa are Vodacom, Cell C and Telkom. See Telecoms Sector for more

Capsule checked 27th April 2018

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