Indian owned telecoms company says it invested $630m on high-speed Long-Term Evolution (LTE)/4G to improve customer experience across the countries which enjoy its services.
The Indian telecommunication giant currently operates in 12 African countries- Nigeria, Ghana, Chad, Gabon, DRC, Malawi Madagascar, Kenya, Congo Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Airtel disclosed that subscribers to its network increased by 10.7%. The number rose to 98.4 million subscribers across 14 markets.
The increment in the number of subscribers came with a 12% growth in revenue. The Managing Director and Chief Executive of Africa Airtel made this revelation at the updated fourth quarter for the period ended March 31, 2019.
“The increase comes on the back of a robust data traffic growth of 73% and Airtel Money throughout by 22% on YoY basis. We continue to invest in enhancing customer experience through a high-speed LTE network. To this end, the year saw an overall capex spend of $630m. That capex was far greater than the $411 million of the previous year,” Madava said.
Currently, Airtel is the third largest telecoms operator in Nigeria with 45 million subscribers and a 26.2% market share. Analysts believe that its success in Nigeria contributes to its overall success. Nigeria accounts for its highest number of subscribers among the 14 countries it operates in.
Connecting Africa reports that Airtel’s customer base grew from 24.9 million to 30 million within a year, boosting the company’s money customer base to 14.2 million. The money transaction value skyrocketed based on this figure by 30%.
Given these statistics, Airtel Africa plans to raise $750m from the issue of new shares to reduce net debt.
According to Guardian’s report, “Bharti Airtel announced more than a year ago the plan to list its African business. It selected bookrunners in September, raised $1.25b in a pre-IPO with six investors in October, followed by another round of pre-IPO in January which raised $200m.”
The report also highlighted the fact that the performance of the African operations is in contrast to those of the entire Bharti Airtel group, which has its major services in India. In spite of the gains recorded in Africa, the overall Airtel number of subscribers went down by 2.5% across 16 countries.