By Gugu Lourie
Vodacom, is South Africa’s biggest mobile phone operator, and is an indicator of how the sector is performing in the country. Vodacom on Thursday published good sets of financial numbers indicating that the company’s growth is not slowing down.
Vodacom South Africa prepaid active customers rose 2.3% to 28.4 million for the quarter ended-June 2015.
Contract customers, excluding Machine-to-Machine sim cards, were up 3.1% to 4.9 million as a result of higher gross connections and ‘greater customer loyalty’.
The company’s revenue rose 5.5% to R16 billion, benefitting from strong growth in data and increased equipment sales.
The number of active smart devices (smartphones, tablets) on Vodacom South Africa’s network rose 31.9% to 11.9 million.
Competition is heating up
Competition in the mobile phone space is heating up as many more new players are entering the saturated market, since they see potential for more growth especially in the provision of mobile data.
Vodacom has performed well despite Cell C dangling a whopping R10 000 reward to new customers who ditch contracts with Vodacom and MTN and sign up with it. Cell C has also introduced a Cell C Test SIM card pre-loaded with Cell C airtime to enable potential customers to test drive its ‘ever-improving network’.
In addition new players have entered the fray.
Last month, FNB, the oldest bank in South Africa, started offering its own SIM cards to its customers, setting its sights on growing market for users to take all telecoms service from it and becoming the first South African bank to offer mobile services.
In May, a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Me&You Mobile entered the market and promised to shake up the South African mobile market. While MTN South Africa has been hard hit by an industrial action and has appointed a new CEO Mteto Nyati to turnaround the business.
In the meantime, Vodacom South Africa seems to be entrenching its leadership position as more and more South Africans continue to use its services such as voice and data.