MTN to take the fight to Vodacom

2012-11-15 09:00
MTN is determined to take on Vodacom. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

MTN is determined to take on Vodacom. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Competition is tight among South African mobile operators and MTN has made no bones about their intent to take on Vodacom for the top spot in the South African mobile market.

"In South Africa we've got some work to do; we're not comfortable being number two, we have an active plan to take market share from Vodacom. We're busy executing that plan and we're starting to see some rewards on that now," Mike Fairon, general manager of product, services and innovation at MTN told News24.

He insisted though, that compared to Vodacom, the company was the top operator in Africa.

"You have to look at the two companies at a holding level and make your judgement on predominant operator on the continent and there the facts will speak for themselves.

"We might be number two to Vodacom in South Africa, we certainly are number one on the continent," he said on the side lines of the AfricaCom technology conference in Cape Town.


Market penetration in South Africa is over 100% and Fairon said that MTN's strategy included revenue from voice and, as an indicator of the competition between operators, poaching customers.

"Even from a voice services point of view, there is growth, so you can go and capture market share from competitors, and we've shown this year that if you create the right value propositions, we can go and attract new customers to MTN," he said.

The company though, isn’t only after numbers. It wants customers who generate revenue growth.

"For us, it's about attracting customers away from competitors, but those customers must be quality customers. They must have a certain tenure on the network; they must generate revenue on the network," said Fairon.

He insisted that the operator rewards customer loyalty.

"We have programmes in place that will reward them for tenure - so our loyalty programme rewards you for tenure; rewards you for spend, so it's a symbiotic relationship for customers that are generating certain revenue for us and were creating value propositions for them."

Data revenue

The top two operators in SA have recently announced a Long Term Evolution rollout of higher speed wireless services of over 40mbps, and are hoping that it will attract customers to their networks.

It is expected that the higher speeds will also boost data revenue for the companies as customers consume more rich media on smart devices.

In a thinly disguised dig at Vodacom, he said that customer numbers alone did not make an attractive business model.

"Having hundreds of thousands of customers that don't generate a lot of revenue affects the profit margins."

- Follow Duncan on Twitter

- News24
Read more on:    mtn  |  vodacom  |  mobile

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


3 sports games you have to watch this weekend

Whether it’s date night or a braai with buddies, plan around these three exciting sporting games!

Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro
Hottie of the day: Colette

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


There is a strong focus on social interaction and connecting with your friends. You may have the need to expand and connect with more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.