Cape Times, 30th Jan 2007Vodacom hangs up the phone on 2.5m low-spending customers
Johannesburg - While announcing its growth in subscribers yesterday, Vodacom said it had disconnected 2.5 million SIM cards held by customers who spent less than R1 a month on cell-phone services - 1 million fewer disconnections than priginally planned.
Last July, the country's biggest cell-phone group said it would cancel 3.5 million customers who spent less than R1 a month as at the end of December because they had calls transferred to voicemail as their only revenue generating activity. In September, it announced that it had reverted to its original.rule and a call forwarded to voicemail would now be considered a revenue generating activity.
Yesterday Vodacom declined to comment on its decision to cancel only 2.5 million non-revenue generating subscribers.
It announced its 9.5 percent jump in subscribers to 28.2 million in all its operations from September to December last year.
Subscriptions for local customers, including community services, grew 7.8 percent to 21.8 million. About 2.9 million are contract customers and 18.8 million are prepaid.
Rival MTN had 11.2 million subscribers as at September 30 and Cell C had 2.7 million subscribers at the end of June.
Vodacom's subscriber growth coincided with the launch of mobile number portability (MNP), introduced in November. Vodacom said customer turnover in its network due to number portability totalled about 20 000.
Vodacom said it was monitoring MNP but it was doubtful if full number portability would ever be a fully viable option before all networks were fully based on internet protocol.