Africa’s Largest Mobile Provider Has More Subcribers than Verizon Wireless

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MTN, Africa’s biggest cellular provider, recorded a 3,7% increase in subscribers to 170.6-million at the end of March this year, the company said on Friday. The U.S. based Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications services provider in the United States with 108.7 million subscribers as of the end of 2011.

MTN’s Nigerian customers represent about 25,1% of group subscribers, reporting a 3% increase in numbers over the quarter, the company said in a statement today. South Africa contributes 13,3% to overall subscribers, reporting a 3,2% increase in the period. MTN Irancell contributed 21,6% to subscribers, but as the company only owns 49% of the venture, its contribution to subscribers was 11,9%. The subscriber base grew 6,2%.

The company, which is currently experiencing network problems in Nigeria, said network quality and capacity remained a key imperative. “The majority of the operations continued to aggressively roll out network and achieved satisfactory progress for the quarter,” it said.

Nigeria’s telecommunications authorities have reportedly threatened to impose sanctions on MTN’s operations over alleged poor service to subscribers.

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