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MTN South Africa injects R10bn into network expansion

Image of MTN Group president and CEO Ralph Mupita

RALPH MUPITA The progress of MTN South Africa's network resilience plan was a key success in the year

12th April 2024

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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MTN South Africa deployed R10.1-billion in capital expenditure (capex), excluding leases, at an intensity of 19.5%, during 2023, to drive network capacity expansion and power resilience.

This formed part of MTN Group’s overall R41.1-billion capex spend across its 19 markets during the year ended December 31, 2023.

“The progress of MTN South Africa’s network resilience plan was a key success in the year, which significantly improved network availability and supported commercial initiatives, despite ongoing loadshedding,” says MTN Group president and CEO Ralph Mupita.

More than R2.6-billion of this was investment in power and security resilience as 2023 experienced more intense power outages with a total of 335 loadshedding days, compared with 205 in 2022.

“Against this backdrop, MTN South Africa continued to invest in the resilience of its network, strengthening its operations and supported resilient quarterly progression in service revenue growth in key verticals, driven by its customer-centric commercial strategy execution.”

By the end of the year, network availability had improved significantly across the entire network, reaching 95% ahead of schedule. Network availability for the sites where the resilience investment had been completed had surpassed 98%.

“This translated to an improvement in customer satisfaction, with the Net Promoter Score on network recording a notable increase. Our efforts have narrowed the gap to the competition, propelling us to gain network leadership in key regions such as Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal,” he continues.

The enhanced network resilience also supported progressive quarterly performance improvements.

“Given the continued challenges with loadshedding and the success of the network investment, MTN South Africa will continue the work to complete the resilience programme in the first quarter of 2024, as well as explore avenues to drive further resilience and power efficiencies in its network,” Mupita comments.

In 2023, MTN South Africa energised its 4.9 MW solar park, which comprises solar, battery storage, gas trigeneration and diesel generators, to help reduce MTN South Africa’s carbon emissions while also ensuring less reliance on the municipal grid.

During the year ended December 31, 2023, MTN South Africa’s subscriber base increased 2.4% to 37.4-million, with 893 000 net additions, while active data subscribers increased 8% to 20.4-million.

Data remained the primary driver of growth, accounting for 47.8% of MTN South Africa’s service revenue and growing by 7.4% for the year, as network traffic expanded 27.7%.

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

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