The Mobile World Briefing has just released a newsletter with the numbers for the fastest growing Mobile Network Operators in the Middle East and Africa. To little surprise, Egypt leads the pack followed by Nigeria and Kenya.
“Mobinil in Egypt produced by far the best result in the region, with 2.58m net adds – more than it connected in the first two quarters of the year and nearly one million more than second placed MTN Nigeria managed. The Egyptian market has been booming since the launch of the countryâ€™s third network, but as is so often the way, the incumbents have been the main beneficiaries.”
Nigeria has had absolutely amazing growth numbers in mobile phone subscribers, and even though they’re one of the top in this report, they still can’t beat their Q2 2008 quarter when they added 7,380,000 connections (yes, that many in one quarter). That is more than double what any other carrier has been able to grow their connections by in any other African country.
“Kenyan companies take sixth and tenth. Safaricom, the Vodafone associate, added 1.12m new connections in the quarter to strengthen its lead over Zain Kenya. Zain remains the main threat in Kenya, but its 0.65m net adds in Q3 do not fully offset the loss of 0.98m seen in Q4 07 and Q1 08 and the companyâ€™s base is still down, year on year.”
Overall, we’re seeing a slight decrease in growth in Africa as a whole. Not much, not even near a plateau, but lower growth rates than in previous years. There are still many more fat bottom lines ahead for these carriers, but they do have to start thinking a lot more about two big areas: data and customer service.