The death of ADSL in South Africa is coming

Telkom’s latest financial results show that its broadband subscribers have declined by 1.9% year-on-year.

Fixed-broadband subscribers dropped from 1,018,405 in September 2016 to 999,311 in September 2017.

This may suggest the beginning of a trend, which started with Telkom’s interim results last year.

It posted its first ever decline in fixed-broadband subscribers, while its fixed-line subscribers have been declining since 2001.

When taking into account internal lines and clients with fibre connections, it is clear that Telkom is losing DSL subscribers.

Fortunately, there is a rapid growth in homes that can get Telkom fibre – with the number increasing by 107.9% to 300,506 over the past year.

ADSL migration

Telkom stopped reporting on its ADSL subscribers as a separate category in March 2016, and started listing total non-mobile broadband subscribers in its results.

It still provided separate figures for fibre customers, however, allowing ADSL subscribers to be calculated.

The graphs below illustrate the decline in fixed-line subscribers since 2001, and how Telkom’s fixed-broadband subscribers have declined since September.

It also shows how Telkom’s fibre subscriber base compares to the number of ADSL subscribers.


Telkom fixed-line subscribers: 1993-2017

Telkom fixed line subscribers 1993-2017


Telkom fixed-broadband subscribers: 2003–2017

Telkom fixed broadband subscriber 2003-2017


Telkom ADSL and Fibre subscribers: 2003–2017

Telkom ADSL vs FTTH subscribers 2003-2017


Now read: How many homes have Telkom fibre

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The death of ADSL in South Africa is coming