Airtel Africa is now second to MTN in terms of active subscriber count in the continent at 100 million. This development was made official by the operator that provides telecoms services to 14 countries in Africa. MTN serves 16 countries in the region.
The continent continues to be a lucrative market for a number of key mobile carriers, including the likes of Telkom, Orange, and Vodacom Group that have spread their reach to different states.
Its African arm, which recently listed in the London Stock Exchange, has a local presence in Kenya at 8.7 million subscribers in a market that is dominated by Safaricom that has more than 30 million active users.
“I am delighted to report that Airtel Africa has crossed the 100 million subscriber mark. This achievement is a testament to the hard work of our employees and a clear reflection that customers value our network, service offerings and customer experience. The positive momentum we have seen in customer acquisition further underpins our medium-term aspirations for revenue and profit growth. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the teams that have worked hard to get us here,” said Raghunath Mandava, Airtel Africa’s Chief Executive Officer.
Airtel Kenya, whose plans to merge operations with Telkom Kenya have since been halted for corruption charges, plans to take advantage of the collaborative efforts to wage fair competition to Safaricom. According to Telkom Kenya CEO Mugo Kibati, the exercise should be official before the year ends.
Airtel Africa’s reach is said to be marked by low but growing mobile connectivity, with a unique user penetration at 43 percent. The corporation, which is owned by Bharti Airtel, reports plans to expand mobile connectivity and digitizing services in the continent, although it has struggled to meet those promises locally.
“A combination of an under-penetrated telecom market, a young addressable population and rising smartphone affordability, along with low data penetration and an underbanked population, will drive the growth opportunities for the data and mobile money segments moving forward,” reads a statement from Airtel Africa.