Telkom’s fixed line slump

Telkom unveiled its interim results for the six months ended 30 September 2013, revealing that the company currently has 3,713,000 fixed access lines – down from 3,894,000 a year ago.

Telkom’s fixed-line numbers are at its lowest level since 1994, which places pressure on the company’s turnaround plan. To offer services such as ADSL or VDSL to subscribers, a fixed line to the premises is needed.

With fixed line numbers declining, the pool of people to whom additional fixed line products can be sold is also shrinking.

The following table provides an overview of Telkom’s fixed-line performance over the last 12 months.

Lines September 2012 (’000) September 2013 (’000) Percentage growth
Fixed access lines 3,894 3,713 -4.6%
Post-paid – PSTN 2,465 2,396 -2.8%
Post-paid – ISDN channels 761 750 -1.4%
Pre-paid 571 478 -16.3%
Payphones 97 89 -8.2%

Since the year 2000, there has been a steady decline in fixed-line numbers, despite an economic boom from 2003 to 2007, and the launch of ADSL in late 2002.

Telkom’s steady decline in fixed-line numbers since the turn of the century has been blamed on many factors, including competition from mobile services, copper theft and tough economic conditions.

The following table provides an overview of Telkom fixed-line growth and decline since the early nineties.

Year Fixed line subscribers 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
2002 4,924,000 -38,000
2003 4,844,000 -80,000
2004 4,821,000 -23,000
2005 4,726,000 -95,000
2006 4,708,000 -18,000
2007 4,642,000 -66,000
2008 4,533,000 -109,000
2009 4,451,000 -82,000
2010 4,273,000 -178,000
2011 4,073,000 -200,000
2012 3,894,000 -179,000
2013 3,713,000 -181,000

More on Telkom’s fixed line numbers

Telkom continues to bleed fixed line subscribers

Telkom’s fixed-line decline

Telkom’s fixed line numbers the lowest in 15 years

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Telkom’s fixed line slump