Airtel Africa Says Its Subscriber Base Has Crossed The 100 Million Mark
An Airtel Africa adveritising hoaring in in N’Djamena, Chad. Growth in the continent has mitigated Airtel’s troubles in the sub-continent. (Photographer: Xaume Olleros/Bloomberg)

Airtel Africa Says Its Subscriber Base Has Crossed The 100 Million Mark

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Airtel Africa Plc on Wednesday said that its subscriber base has crossed the 100 million mark and claimed to be the second-largest telecom operator in the continent in terms of active users.

The Lagos- and London-listed company is a subsidiary of India’s Bharti Airtel Ltd.

“Airtel Africa has crossed the 100-million subscriber mark. The positive momentum we have seen in customer acquisition further underpins our medium-term aspirations for revenue and profit growth,” Raghunath Mandava, chief executive officer of Airtel Africa, said in a statement.

The growth in the African market has mitigated the impact of challenges that Bharti Airtel has been facing in India since the launch of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. on Sept. 5, 2016. From a peak user base of around 381 million in June 2017, Airtel’s subscriber base in India has dipped to 324 million as of June 2019. In the same two-year period, Airtel has gained around 20 million new subscribers in Africa.

“Airtel Africa’s footprint is characterised by low but increasing mobile connectivity, with a unique user penetration at 43 percent, highlighting the potential for growth across its footprint,” the statement said.

According to Airtel Africa, a combination of an under-penetrated telecom market, a young addressable population and rising smartphone affordability, along with low data penetration and an under-banked population, will drive the growth opportunities for data and mobile money segments of the company.

“Airtel Africa's footprint is characterised by low but increasing mobile connectivity, with a unique user penetration at 43 percent, highlighting the potential for growth across its footprint,” the statement said.

On Wednesday, Bharti Airtel shares fell 0.56 percent to Rs 345.85 apiece on the BSE while the benchmark Sensex shed 0.50 percent to end the day at 37,451.84 points.

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