Which Is SA’s Most Valuable Telecom Provider?

Brand Finance, which recently found FNB to be the most valuable banking brand in South Africa, has also declared MTN as the most valuable telecom brand.

MTN has once again been named in the top 300 telecom brands in the world, emerging right on top of the African list.

According to the research, MTN has jumped from 47th place in 2017 to 45th in 2018, with a value placed at $3.3 billion. This year has seen a rise of 9%, and the telecommunications behemoth also received an AAA- rating, up from AA+ last year.

For the second year in a row, MTN seems to be improving.

Do you know who has the best data prices in SA? Read more here!

MTN Compared To Africa

You may have recently seen Vodacom bragging about having the best network in a number of advertisements. MTN didn’t like this much and lodged a complaint against Vodacom at the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA). MTN then saw this complaint dismissed.

So it will come as some relief that it has done so well in the Brand Finance rankings.

MTN’s main South African competitors, Vodacom, didn’t feature on the African list, due to the fact that it falls under the UK-based Vodafone. Vodafone, although sitting far ahead of MTN on the global list in 10th place, has dropped three places since last year. Vodafone is said to have a brand value of $18.7 billion.

The MTN Group has around 25 subsidiaries, most of which are found in Africa. Upon the continent the main competitor is Airtel, which isn’t ranked based on its Africa operations, but rather the larger India-based company, also Airtel.

Other African companies to crack the top 300 this year were:

  • Kenya’s Safaricom (99th);
  • Morocco’s Maroc Telecom (111th);
  • Nigeria’s Glo Mobile (130th);
  • Senegal’s Sonatel (136th);
  • Telkom (140th), Cell C (158th);
  • Morocco’s Inwi (169th);
  • Telecom Egypt (201st);
  • Blue Label Telecoms (207th);
  • Zimbabwe’s Econet (223rd).


The World’s Most Valuable Telecom Brand

United States telecoms continue to dominate the sector, and make up most of the top-tier table.  AT&T has retained the title of the most valuable telecom brand in the world.

The top ten most valuable brands in the world were, in order:

  • AT&T (US);
  • Verizon (US);
  • China Mobile (China);
  • NTT Group (Japan);
  • Deutsche Telekom (Germany);
  • Xfinity (US);
  • China Telecom (China);
  • Orange (France);
  • SoftBank (Japan);
  • Vodafone (UK).

Notably, however, most US brands experienced a loss in value, due to the growing competition from internet giants.

“While American telecoms brands are at the top of the table, they are grappling with falling brand values as they find themselves navigating a complex regulatory environment and competitive offerings from the Internet challengers, all while battling sinking revenues,” said Brand Finance CEO, David Haigh.

Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, TenCent and Google are all expanding. As the demand for OTT (Over-The-Top) messaging services on the rise, telecoms brands need to adapt faster.

“In order to survive in the digital era, telcos must put up a strong fight by adopting innovative strategies. Nevertheless, when taking a snapshot of brand representation by country, the US still dominates as American brands hold the largest share or 28% of the total brand value in the Brand Finance Telecoms 300 league table.”

In the Brand Finance Telecoms Infrastructure league table, Huawei emerged on top, valued at $38 billion, up 51% from last year. Nokia, behaving like a dragon recently woken from a decade-long slumber, is fastest growing telecoms infrastructure brand. Nokia is up 71% to an $8.4 billion brand value.


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