Telkom Mobile has seen an impressive increase in subscribers over the past year, according to the company’s interim results for the six months ended 30 September 2019.
The company’s subscribers grew by a staggering 75.7% compared to the same period last year, with Telkom now boasting 11.5 million mobile customers.
This subscriber base comprises 9.4 million prepaid and 2.1 million postpaid customers. The number of prepaid customers almost doubled compared to last year, while postpaid subscribers grew by 26.1%
Telkom said that it had increased its dealer footprint in preparation for the roaming agreement with Vodacom, but added that bad behaviour on the dealers’ part resulted in the acquisition of low-end, voice-only subscribers.
“We unfortunately experienced unsavoury dealer behaviour that drove the pre-paid acquisition of the low-end value voice-only subscribers,” Telkom said.
“We have since rebalanced the base, after implementing punitive action against the selected dealers, but this has resulted in the 13.3% decline in pre-paid average revenue per user (ARPU).”
Telkom’s postpaid ARPU declined by 7%, which it attributed primarily to the repositioning of entry-level deals.
During the period, Telkom grew its number of mobile base stations by 24.9% to 5,476.
Telkom’s mobile service revenue grew by 56.6% to R5.6 billion, with the company stating that this remains the main driver of growth for Telkom Consumer.
“Our mobile business continues to be the fastest-growing business in the market with market share gain underpinned by our affordable broadband-led propositions, which continue to resonate with customers,” Telkom said.
Telkom added that its network investment and the roaming agreement with Vodacom has allowed it to increase its 4G network and capacity.
Telkom group CEO Sipho Maseko said that he was optimistic about the years ahead due to the upcoming licensing of new spectrum and the investment the company has made in its business.
“The operating environment remains challenging, but the imminent licensing of new spectrum, coupled with macroeconomic reforms and the investments we continue to make in our own business, means we are optimistic about the years ahead,” Maseko said.
“We have shown our commitment to South Africa by investing into the economy at a time when the country needs it most. We are confident that these investments will pay off.”