How much data the average smartphone on Vodacom uses

South Africa’s biggest mobile telecoms operator — Vodacom — saw a surge in data traffic on its network between April 2022 and September 2022.

According to the company’s interim results for the first half of its 2023 financial year, Vodacom data traffic increased by 30.3% compared to the same period in 2021.

Data customers grew by 4.1%, with an additional 934,000 added since September 2021, to reach roughly 23.77 million customers by September 2022.

In addition, smart devices on Vodacom’s network increased by 11.8% to 27.6 million, while 4G and 5G devices jumped to 20.3 million, an impressive 24.1% gain.

Vodacom also revealed the average data usage per smart device was 2.8GB per month — around 24% more than the prior period.

These gains led to prepaid data revenue climbing by 11.8% between July and September 2022, helping bolster overall prepaid revenue during the interim period to R12.7 billion.

“Our prepaid segment delivered a resilient performance given a challenging macro backdrop associated with a sharp increase in the cost of living and disruptions to social grant payments,” Vodacom said.

“Data revenue growth reflects the high adoption of our data-led bundles, which offer lower rates to the most price-sensitive, lower-income consumers.”

The company did not reveal what happened to data usage among its contract customers, but overall revenue in this segment increased by 5.7% to R11.2 billion.

Big network investment support data growth

To manage the additional demand for data, Vodacom said it invested R5.8 billion during the period to expand its network capacity. That was 4.6% more than in the same period last year.

The operator said it would leverage its newly acquired frequency spectrum to accelerate its investment in next-generation mobile infrastructure.

The company recently announced a remarkable record speed on its 5G network.

Using  5G carrier aggregation, it hit a download speed of 2.4Gbps on a mobile phone.

MyBroadband went to the Vodacom campus to replicate the result, and achieved around 1.8Gbps on a Samsung Galaxy S22+, while a high-level Vodacom technical staff member recorded a speed of around 2Gbps under our observation using a Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Now read: Vodacom profits drop

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How much data the average smartphone on Vodacom uses