Middle East and Africa's top 10 operators

Top 10 operators account for 44% of subscribers across the region.

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By  Administrator Published  May 1, 2007

A report compiled by market research company The Mobile World has listed the top 10 MEA network operators by subscriber numbers as of 4Q06, the top five positions dominated by sub-Saharan Aricam operators.

South Africa's Vodacom topped the chart with 23.9 million subscribers at the end of 2006 having altered its subscriber counting methodology. STC's Al Jawal was ranked second, though its growth rate appears to be slowing as the telco's subscriber base grew by 374,000 during the quarter. This was nearly 1 million fewer than the growth a year earlier, bringing its subscriber base to 13.4 million at the end of 2006.

Iran's TCI climbed to third place, overtaking MTN South Africa, with 13.39 million subscribers at the end of December 2006.

MTN's South African operation boasted 12.4 million mobile subscribers at the end of 2006 followed by its operation in Nigeria, which counted 12.28 million users.

Rival Nigerian operator Globacom now ranks sixth largest mobile operator in the region, up from tenth at the end of 2005, and counted10.75 million subscribers at the end of 2006.

The remainder of the list is occupied by operators based in the MENA region with Morocco's Maroc Telecom dropping to seventh place during the surveyed period, after a revival in the fortunes of its domestic competitor Medi Telecom.

Orascom Algeria lagged Maroc Telecom in eighth spot with a customer base of 10.5 million at the end of the year, having added 500, 000 customers during 4Q06.

Egyptian operators Mobinil and Vodafone Egypt completed the top 10 raking chart, both counting 9.26 million and 8.44 million customers respectively at the end of 2006.

Combined, the region's top10 operators by subscriber number counted 121 million users, representing just under 44% of the region's total subscriber base at the time.

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