Tigo shifts the goal poles on market position claim
4/19/2012 9:00:13 AM -
Tigo Ghana has reported in the First Quarter (Q1) Report of the Millicom International Cellular SA that its market position is either second or third with a further dip in subscriber base from 3.5 million in quarter four (Q4) last year to 3.3 million in Q1 this year.
The company had reported in its full year (FY) results last year that it had 3.5 million customers representing 21.3% market share making it the second of five players.
But in the Q1 report for 2012, covering the period January to March 2012, the company said its customers has reduced to 3.334 million representing 19.8% market share, and it stated that its market position is two/three of five players.
Tigo had insisted on being the second largest player by subscribers in spite of the National Communication Authority's (NCA's) FY subscriber base report indicating Tigo had 3.9 million customers, representing 18.53% market share and was third of five operators, and Vodafone was second with 4.2 million customer representing some 20.2% market share.
Tigo explained then that the method it used in collating subscriber levels indicated Ghana had mobile penetration of 66.1% and not the 84.7% the NCA reported.
But the NCA challenged Tigo's figures saying the company had no mandate and the ability to determine the country's mobile penetration and the subscriber base of other operators, since it had no access to the networks of the other operators to do audit like the NCA does.
Meanwhile Tigo still maintained in the 2012 Q1 Report that mobile penetration in Ghana had increased from 66.1% in December last year, to 67.6%.
Tigo's figure still conflicts with what the NCA published in February 2012 that total mobile subscriptions was 21.38 million representing 85.5% penetration.
The NCA also reported that as at February ending this year, Tigo had dropped subscribers to 3.69 million subscribers representing 17.27% market share, and it was still behind Vodafone, which had further consolidated its second position by increasing subscribers to 4.36 million, representing 20.4% market share.
Expresso also made a surprise u-turn on the back of its recent free calls for three months promotions to drive subscribers, increasing subscriber level marginally from 183,607 in January 2012 to 183,670 in February 2012.
Its market share had however fallen from 0.88% in December last year to 0.86%, but officials were confident the full first quarter report, ending March 31, 2012, would show further increase in their subscribers.
Market leader MTN was gradually inching in on its 950,000 increase in subscribers targeted for this year, having already reached 10.32 million subscribers in February, representing 48.3% market share.
But MTN was also one company, which insisted it closed last year with more than 52% market share even though the NCA's records showed it had 48% plus market share.
Airtel also continued its consistent growth from 2.6 million in December last year to 2.8 million in February this year, representing 13.16% market share.
Story by Samuel Nii Narku Dowuona/Adom News/Ghana