Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko has said that voice is essentially dead and the company will focus on bringing data-led value propositions to the market.
Telkom’s data-focussed FreeMe mobile products are popular among consumers and helped the company to significantly grow its number of mobile subscribers over the past year.
Speaking to BusinessDay TV, Maseko said the plan behind the FreeMe products was to integrate voice, data, and other value-added services.
“FreeMe enabled us to get into the smartphone market with the right value proposition,” said Maseko.
The Telkom CEO said “voice in essence now is dead”.
“Customers use voice a lot less and even when they do use voice, they use WhatsApp calling or voice-over-LTE/VoIP,” he said.
Maseko said people are avoiding using traditional circuit-switched voice services and prefer over-the-top platforms like WhatsApp and Skype.
He said data is now the focus area for Telkom.
“For us it is not about FreeMe. It is about evolving a muscle which will ensure that data-led propositions is what we bring into the market.”
Maseko said this strategy is helping Telkom to compete against Vodacom and MTN.