Telkom’s annual results for the year ended 31 March 2021 show a big increase in revenue for its mobile business.
Telkom’s mobile customer base increased to 15.3 million subscribers, growing 27.8% from March 2020, while mobile broadband traffic surged 53.2% to 942 petabytes.
With an average revenue of R104 per user, its mobile data revenue grew by 41.0% and mobile service revenue increased 34.5% to R16.938 billion.
The strongest growth was among its prepaid customer base – which expanded by 35.1% and now stands at 12.7 million customers.
Telkom’s mobile broadband subscribers increased 25.6% from 8.16 million to 10.26 million.
Growth of the operator’s postpaid base was muted, however, with a 0.7% increase to 2.6 million. Telkom blamed this on the challenging economy which resulted in a “distressed” postpaid base.
The fixed-line performance was poor. There was a drop in revenue from fixed services which limited Telkom’s overall revenue increase to 0.4% for the year.
Telkom supported the increase in mobile data traffic in 2020 by spending more on its mobile network, with capital expenditure climbing 22.5% from R3.6 billion to R4.5 billion.
“As a growth area of our business, our intentional and focused allocation of capital to a data-led and fibre-enabled mobile network successfully prepared us for the significant increase in data demand and broadband mobile services brought about by more people working from home,” Telkom stated.
The operator increased its mobile network sites to 6,430 – 9.7% more than in the previous year.
“Capacity upgrades, underpinned by the deployment of additional carriers and temporary spectrum, as well as ongoing spectrum refarming, resulted in the upgrade of 2,096 sites with temporary spectrum, 1,971 sites with additional carriers, 1,309 refarmed sites and 804 sites where LTE capability was improved,” Telkom said.