Mobile subscribers in South Africa – Telkom fights back

Telkom recently published its financial results for the year ended 31 March 2019, showing impressive mobile subscriber and revenue growth.

This stands in stark contrast to competing mobile operators.

Telkom’s mobile service revenue was up 58.3% for the period, driven by a year-over-year growth in active subscribers of 85.9%.

Despite this accelerated growth in users, Telkom’s average revenue per user (ARPU) remained consistent – showing that its mobile packages are an attractive value proposition for South Africans.

Outpacing the competition

By comparison, Vodacom’s customer base grew by 3.7% over its past financial year, with data revenue and growth affected by new ICASA regulations.

MTN’s update for the period ended 31 March 2019 showed that it had lost subscribers in South Africa over the quarter.

MTN South Africa said it had 24.1 million prepaid users, down 4.9% quarter-on-quarter, and 5.9 million postpaid subscribers, up 1.2% quarter-on-quarter.

Cell C does not provide as much information regarding its prepaid and postpaid customer share, but has stated it has a total of 17.2 million users.

Mobile subscribers

Vodacom’s latest annual financial results showed it had a total of 43.2 million customers in South Africa, comprising 37.4 million prepaid and 5.8 million contract customers.

MTN’s latest trading update reflected that it has a local mobile subscriber base of 30.0 million customers.

Cell C’s latest financial results reflect 17.2 million South African customers.

Telkom’s financial results for the year ended 31 March 2019 showed that it had a total of 9.7 million subscribers.

Network Prepaid Postpaid Total
Vodacom 37.4 million 5.8 million 43.2 million
MTN 24.1 million 5.9 million 30.0 million
Cell C N/A N/A 17.2 million
Telkom 7.8 million 1.9 million 9.7 million

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Mobile subscribers in South Africa – Telkom fights back