Tigo, Vodafone rise as other telcos fall

Source: Ghana|Adombusiness|Samuel Nii Narku Dowuona
Date: 03-02-2014 Time: 08:02:30:pm

Telecoms subscriber base and market share statistics as of November 2013 indicates all telcos in the country are losing subscribers marginally, except Tigo and Vodafone.

Vodafone had seen a steady growth from the time it entered the market, but Tigo had a tough time in 2012, recording consistent decline over the first half of the year, which made its subscriber base drop million four million. 

Tigo’s subscriber base crossed from the 3million zone into over four million against between October and November 2013, increasing from 3,933,195 to 4,014,487, which was a 2.07 per cent rise. It finished the period with 14.51% market share.

The first time Tigo’s subscriber base went beyond 4million was in February 2011 when it recorded 4,135,774; and the last time was November of the same year when it recorded 4,030,769. Since then Tigo’s subscriber base had been under 4million. It reached its lowest of 3,457,427 in May 2012 before it started rising again.

 The company is currently offering the lowest on-net call rate of 3.6Gp and it also runs a promo called “Tigo Free Bonto” which offers double and triple bonuses, with which subscriber can call other networks and abroad and even cheaper rates than the regular off-net rate.

Pundits have been wondering why the telco experienced such tough time garnering subscribers, given the relatively great value in terms of the call tariffs it offers.

Second place Vodafone also recorded a marginal increase in subscriber base, reaching 5,931,923, which represents 21.44% market share. Vodafone is therefore inching closer and closer to the 6millionth mark.

The telco recently launched its Vodafone RED promotion, which comes in four tariff plans. Each of the plans offers loads of segmented minutes for on-net/off-net calls, IDD calls, internet browsing plus free SMSs.

Whereas the promo may not have impacted the company’s current market share position, pundits expect it impact to felt in subsequent reports.

Meanwhile, the three other telcos, including market leader, MTN have been experiencing marginal falls in their subscribers over a period now.

Since MTN’s entry into the market, it has been recording increases in subscribers, but between July and August last year it suffered the first decline in subscribers. It subscriber base dropped by 52,145 from 12,792,148 in July 2013, to 12,740,003 in August same year. That was the highest decline so far.

MTN’s subscriber base rose by 24,829 to 12,764,832 in September but fell again to 12,731,772 in October and further to 12,711,675 in November 2013.

December 2013 figures are yet to be published, but ADOMBUSINESS can confirm that MTN’s subscriber base has picked up in December and cancelled out the losses in both October and November 2013.  

Airtel’s subscriber base at the end of November, 2013 also indicated a decrease from   3,347,173 to 3,333,126 subscribers which represents 12.05% of the total market share.But that was not the first time Airtel has seen a decline in subscriber base. The decline started from September 2013, and had continued till November.  

Glo’s finished November 2013 with 1,529,304, which represents 5.53% market share, a decline from 5.71% a month before. But again, that was not the first time Glo saw a decline. It subscriber base has been declining consistently since June 2013, in spite of the launch of its Glo Bounce promo.

Glo Bounce offers lots of bonus minutes for off-net calls and also allows customers to make on-net calls even with zero balance on their phone. The telco had expected the promo to put it back on track towards its target of becoming the second largest telco in Ghana within 24 month. But the figures show the promo is not yielding the desired results, in the short-term.

Expresso actually saw some rise in subscriber base in October, after consistent decline for years. But it backtracked again in November, falling from 147,731 to 145,057, which represents 0.52 per cent market share.

Meanwhile, the total number of cellular mobile subscriptions, which stood at 27,665,572 shows 110.7% mobile penetration against an estimated population of 25million. But according to the NCA, it repressent only 0.3% increase from the previous month, which is the lowest ever recorded so far.