Big fibre growth for Vodacom

Vodacom has accelerated its fibre rollout in South Africa, according to the mobile operator’s annual results for the year ended 31 March 2020.

The company said it more than doubled the number of homes it passes with its fibre network in the latter half of its financial year.

Vodacom’s fibre network now passes over 104,000 homes and businesses, it said.

“We improved our fibre rollout in the second half of the year, more than doubling the total number of homes and businesses connected to 61,427, with our owned fibre passing 104,000 homes and businesses,” Vodacom said.

The company also announced that it has seen a significant increase in total data traffic on its networks over the past year.

“Data traffic was up 66.0% for the year, with continued acceleration during the fourth quarter, evidencing the expected elasticity to make up for the pricing transformation initiatives during the year,” Vodacom said.

This growth was facilitated partly by a year-on-year increase in data customers of 9.7%, as well as a 34.5% increase in the number of 4G devices on Vodacom’s network.

The average usage per smart device on the mobile network also increased by 56% year-on-year.

Vodacom said this data growth will help to offset the data price cuts it recently implemented in line with directives from the Competition Commission.

“The increase in the drivers of data growth gives us confidence that we will continue to see elasticity to compensate for the pricing transformation initiatives agreed with the Competition Commission and implemented from 1 April 2020,” Vodacom said.

5G launch

Vodacom’s announcement of significant fibre network and data traffic growth follows the launch of its mobile 5G network earlier this month.

The launch of the 5G network was enabled by the allocation of temporary spectrum from ICASA and the roaming agreement with Liquid Telecom announced in December 2019.

Vodacom stated that even if it loses access to the temporary spectrum assigned to it for the duration of the country’s state of disaster, it will continue to offer its 5G service.

“At that point, Vodacom will roam entirely on Liquid Telecom’s 5G network once we no longer have access to temporary spectrum,” Vodacom previously told MyBroadband.

“The loss of temporary spectrum will neither impact customer experience nor our 5G rollout.”

Now read: The new 5G router available from Vodacom – Nokia FastMile 5G

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Big fibre growth for Vodacom