Telkom had a very good year, with strong share price growth and the launch of fibre-to-the-home and LTE Advanced.
MyBroadband asked Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko what his highlights were in 2014, and what keeps him awake at night.
Telkom highlights for 2014
Maseko said that the launch of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) and LTE Advanced (LTE-A) were highlights for the company.
“We were excited to deliver the next evolution of super-fast broadband connectivity to our customers,” said Maseko.
Another high point for Maseko was the success of the annual Satnac conference.
“Satnac represents the future with a lot of promise on how mega trends in the sector are articulated by young, bright South African minds,” said Maseko.
Other highlights included the launch of the company’s Summer Campaign, and winning best mobile and fixed broadband provider awards at the 2014 MyBroadband conference.
“The role that broadband will play in South Africa is unimaginable – we started in a slow and tardy way as Telkom but we are intent to get in front of the curve in the coming few years,” said Maseko.
Biggest challenges in 2014
Maseko said that regulatory uncertainly was the biggest challenge he faced over the past year.
“Termination rate tariffs have been pronounced, but there is still no access to the reasons of Icasa on how they arrived at the decision,” said Maseko.
“It’s starting to feel like a lottery – very lucky if you draw the right combination instead of substantive arguments consistent with policy, international benchmarks, encouraging competition on a fair basis, and reducing the cost to communicate on a sustainable basis.”
The Telkom CEO added they also had to lose a lot of people who previously worked for Telkom as part of the company’s efficiency effort. “It’s not been easy,” said Maseko.
What keeps the Telkom CEO awake at night?
Maseko said that the lack of finality on the basket of regulatory and policy considerations for South Africa was his biggest concern.
“The result could be a fragmented approach which might impact how investment is made and, even if investment is made, how efficiently it will done,” said Maseko.
He added that South Africa’s weakening economic and trading environment was another challenge.
“In such circumstances we will need to find the right way to deliver services and new offerings,” said Maseko.