People are cancelling their Telkom lines at a rapid rate

Telkom has released its financial results for the year ended 31 March 2019, which shows a massive decline in its fixed line subscriber base.

Telkom now has 2,267,000 fixed-line subscribers, down from 2,678,000 a year ago. This is a year-on-year decline of 441,000 lines.

Over the last six months, the company lost a record 299,000 subscribers, which means it is now losing around 50,000 subscribers each month.

While this decline is not new – Telkom has been struggling to hold onto its fixed-line users since 2000 – the rapid loss of fixed lines over the last year may be concerning.

Fixed broadband subscriber decline

Telkom is also losing fixed broadband subscribers despite its continued investment in its fibre rollout.

The results show that Telkom’s ADSL, VDSL, and fibre subscribers declined from 981,176 in March 2018 to 847,650 in March 2019.

This is by far the biggest decline Telkom has ever seen, and equates to losing over 21,000 fixed broadband subscribers each month.

This 13.6% decline in fixed broadband subscribers comes at a time when there is a very strong demand for fibre-to-the-home services in South Africa.

Telkom fixed-line subscriber decline

The table below provides an overview of Telkom’s fixed-line growth and decline since 1993.

Telkom Fixed Lines
Date Subscribers YoY Change 6-Months Change
1993 3,458,000
1994 3,594,000 136,000
1995 3,773,000 179,000
1996 3,926,000 153,000
1997 4,259,000 333,000
1998 4,645,000 386,000
1999 5,075,000 430,000
2000 5,493,000 418,000
2001 4,962,000 -531,000
Mar-02 4,924,000 -38,000
Mar-03 4,844,000 -80,000
Sep-03 4,812,000 -32,000
Mar-04 4,821,000 -23,000 9,000
Sep-04 4,870,000 58,000 49,000
Mar-05 4,726,000 -95,000 -144,000
Sep-05 4,730,000 -140,000 4,000
Mar-06 4,708,000 -18,000 -22,000
Sep-06 4,675,000 -55,000 -33,000
Mar-07 4,642,000 -66,000 -33,000
Sep-07 4,621,000 -54,000 -21,000
Mar-08 4,532,000 -110,000 -89,000
Sep-08 4,504,000 -117,000 -28,000
Mar-09 4,451,000 -81,000 -53,000
Sep-09 4,398,000 -106,000 -53,000
Mar-10 4,273,000 -178,000 -125,000
Sep-10 4,234,000 -164,000 -39,000
Mar-11 4,152,000 -121,000 -82,000
Sep-11 4,073,000 -161,000 -79,000
Mar-12 3,995,000 -157,000 -78,000
Sep-12 3,894,000 -179,000 -101,000
Mar-13 3,800,000 -195,000 -94,000
Sep-13 3,713,000 -181,000 -87,000
Mar-14 3,618,000 -182,000 -95,000
Sep-14 3,531,000 -182,000 -87,000
Mar-15 3,439,000 -179,000 -92,000
Sep-15 3,323,000 -208,000 -116,000
Mar-16 3,217,000 -222,000 -106,000
Sep-16 3,090,000 -233,000 -127,000
Mar-17 2,954,000 -263,000 -136,000
Sep-17 2,840,000 -250,000 -114,000
Mar-18 2,678,000 -276,000 -162,000
Sep-18 2,566,000 -274,000 -112,000
Mar-19 2,267,000 -411,000 -299,000

Now read: Telkom’s ADSL and fibre shock

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People are cancelling their Telkom lines at a rapid rate