The chart shows the fastest growing businesses in the MEA region over a twelve month view. The list includes nine of the names that feature in the Q1 08 list, with Zain Iraq coming in at Algerie Telecom Mobile’s expense. The top two places are the same in the year as they are in the quarter, with TCI’s 9.12m just shading Irancell’s 7.95m. The other really strong performances in the region were spread across five main markets - with Mobily in Saudi Arabia taking third place ahead of two Egyptian companies, three from Nigeria and one each from Iraq and Kenya.
Leading MNOs by Net Additions, year to 31st March 08
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Mobily has defied the weight of demographics to come third and it now has the second highest market share of any second entrant in the region, behind the estimable Nawras in Oman, which heads that list with 42.5% of its national total.
Both the Egyptian companies have been given extra impetus by the arrival of a new entrant in the form of Etsalat. This launched its service in Q2 07 and has added nearly 2m customers of its own, but as is invariably the case, the incumbents are the main beneficiaries of new arrivals, at least initially. Mobinil added 5.49m and Vodafone 4.64m over the last twelve months, to take fourth and seventh places.
Nigeria, with a population of 137m was always going to become Africa’s largest market and it managed that in this last quarter. Three of the eight licensed networks feature amongst the elite list, Zain, with 5.36m adds, MTN with 4.38m and Glo with 4.27m. The numbers of these operators have been subject to some adjustment in recent weeks, after revisions related to activity levels, but are now almost certainly a fair reflection of the state of the market. That may not be quite so true in the case of Safaricom in Kenya, which was the sixth fastest growing business, with 4.6m adds. Its recent IPO documentation suggested that it uses a rather liberal definition of the word customer.
Lastly, Zain Iraq owes its place on the list to the merger of the former Orascom business with Zain’s own Atheer Telecom. The depth of demand for mobile in this region is underlined by the fact that a further 15 companies all added more than one million customers in the twelve months, while a further 21m added more than 0.5m.
Source: Cellular News.