Telkom scoops up mobile subscribers

Telkom has reported increased mobile service revenue and mobile subscribers over its past financial year, although the company also recorded a drop in average revenue per user.

This is according to Telkom’s annual financial results for the year ending 31 March 2024.

The telecommunications company said it had grown its mobile subscriber base to 20.4 million, an 11.9% increase from the previous year.

Despite this increase, its average revenue per user (ARPU) dropped by R2 to R84 per customer compared to the 2023 results.

Overall, Telkom did see an increase in revenue from its mobile services by 6.8% to R19.03 billion.

The postpaid subscriber base remained relatively stable, decreasing slightly by 0.5%. However, contract ARPU declined substantially from R201 last year to R180.

Prepaid customers, on the other hand, increased substantially by 14.3% to 17.5 million, with ARPU increasing by R1 to R65.

Telkom said this increase was due to “the acquisition of higher-quality connections and increased charging behaviour.”

Mobile broadband subscribers also grew by 9.5%, or just over 1 million customers.

Telkom’s mobile broadband subscribers now total 12.7 million, which the telco said represents 62.3% of its mobile subscriber base using the broadband service.

Throughout the year, Telkom invested R2.6 billion into capital expenditure on its mobile services.

This included R972 million spent on acquiring spectrum, which the company says expanded coverage by 2.5%, now reaching 7,738 sites.

Network resilience also constituted this investment, replacing and repairing lithium-ion batteries at over 1,606 sites.

Telkom described load-shedding as a major hindrance to its mobile earnings, spending R236 million on the adverse effects caused by the power cuts.

However, Telkom’s overall capital expenditures significantly decreased by 17%, or R1.3 billion, compared to the previous year.

Telkom Group CEO Serame Taukobong said the company had taken a measured approach to capital expenditure during the financial year.

“Better-than-expected positive free cash flow of R424 million was driven by improved operational performance and our measured approach towards capital expenditure (capex) this year,” he said.

“The decrease aligns with our strategy and the cyclical nature of capital expenses.”

Taukobong noted that this decrease is largely due to the expenditure on batteries to mitigate the effects of load-shedding the year before.

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Telkom scoops up mobile subscribers