While MTN’s decision to raise the price of its WhatsApp bundles by 200% caused consternation among customers, the market was unfazed. MTN’s share price rose as much as 3% to R107.45 on Tuesday — presumably reacting to Monday’s news that it had sold its Cyprus business for about R4bn, and shrugging off the possibility of losing subscribers in SA. MTN’s geographical spread makes it relatively immune to a single event in its home market. Of MTN’s 221-million subscribers at March 31, SA accounted for under 30-million — or 13% of the total. Nigeria, with 54.5-million subscribers, is still MTN’s largest market. The cellphone operator reversed a decision to lower the price of the WhatsApp bundles in SA, announcing on social media this week that it would increase the price of the bundles from R10 to R30. It said this was because initial demand for the cheaper bundle nearly crippled its system. The company took to social media to explain that it had raised the price in order to keep the 3G l...

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