Telkom is blaming its planned job cuts on the current regulatory environment and having to compete in a “duopolistic mobile market”, but Vodacom and MTN dispute this argument.
Telkom recently announced it plans to retrench as many as 6,000 employees in 2020 and has commenced a consultation process with organised labour.
Company spokesperson Noma Faku said the regulatory environment “disadvantaged Telkom and advantaged mobile operators”.
“These external conditions on how the market was structured to enable mobile still exist and it continues to work against Telkom today,” she said.
Faku added that Telkom came in as a “later player” in the mobile market and that Vodacom and MTN still have “virtual control over voice and data prices”.
“These are factors which are outside of Telkom’s control, which are essentially in the regulator’s control,” she said.
We do not have control over voice and data prices – Vodacom
Vodacom dismissed Telkom’s argument, saying the South African mobile market has a healthy level of competition.
“This competition has ultimately benefited consumers with wider coverage, faster speeds and a significant decline in tariffs,” Vodacom said.
Vodacom also disagreed with Telkom’s claim that it has control over voice and data prices as the South African market is highly competitive in this area.
“This is evident when considering the large number of unique and competing open-market and promotional offers available in the market,” Vodacom said.
The telecoms marketing is evolving – MTN
MTN SA spokesperson Jacqui O’Sullivan told MyBroadband that the South African telecommunications market is evolving, in line with global trends.
This evolving operating model is being played out across the world as the industry’s technology and service offerings increasingly converge.
“When considering revenue and market share in South Africa’s telecoms sector, the convergence of the local market is equally apparent,” she said.
O’Sullivan said mobile operators are moving into fixed line, and fixed-line operators are moving into mobile.
She added that when considering revenue share and capex investment in the South African telecommunications sector, it requires the consideration to be inclusive of mobile and fixed services.
“In this regard, Vodacom holds a 40% revenue share. This is followed by MTN and Telkom with 26% and 25% respectively. Cell C is at 9% revenue share,” O’Sullivan said.
“Right now, all four operators are actively competing across all these services and technologies.”