By Alex Ritman
Mobitel, which MTC Group acquired full control of in February, has announced a subscriber base of over two million, representing a market share of over 80%.
Kuwaiti operator MTC has announced that its operation in Sudan has passed the two million-subscriber mark. The latest figures from Mobitel, which MTC acquired full control of in February this year; show a customer base of 2.2 million, up from 1.8 million at the end of October 2005. This number makes it the second largest operation by subscribers in MTC Group’s Africa and Middle East portfolio. The recently acquired Nigerian cellco, V-Mobile, is MTC’s largest operator in terms of subscriber numbers, counting 5.54 million at the end of June 2006. MTC through its Celtel International subsidiary owns 65% of V-Mobile.
According to Mobitel’s general manager, Khaled Muhtadi, since taking control of the operator, MTC has embarked upon a network expansion strategy, including increasing the number of customer service locations. "The parent company has promoted network upgrading and undertaken significant expansion operations by extending its geographic coverage to western and southern areas in Sudan."
In May 2006, Mobitel signed a US$99.9 million network expansion deal with Ericsson to add capacity for an additional 1.5 million subscribers.
According to figures from Informa Telecoms & Media, Sudan had a total of 2.07 million subscribers at the end of 2005, representing a penetration rate of 5.1%. Sudan’s second operator, Al Bashair Telecom currently has approximately 390,000 subscribers, giving it an estimated 16% share of the market.