Vodacom subscriber numbers drop 2.6%, hit by customer registration in Mozambique, DRC

Mobile phone operator Vodacom announced on Thursday that the number of its subscribers declined 2.6% to 61.8 million, impacted by new customer registration process in its Africa operations. By Staff Writer

The telco, which is majority owned by British mobile phone giant Vodafone, said the impact of customer registration processes on new customer activations has negatively affected net customer additions mainly in Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The firm said total active customers in its international operation was down 11.5% to 26.7 million in the quarter to end June 30. But Vodacom added that the monthly customer growth trend has started to improve as acquisition procedures become more efficient across all channels.

“Net customer additions has turned positive towards the latter part of the quarter in most operations,” the company informed investors on Thursday.

However, international operations – which also includes Lesotho – reported a 25.7% rise in data revenue to R1.1 billion.

The group service revenue was up 7.3% to R16.8 billion and revenue was up 5.8% to R19.9 billion. The telco biggest operation, Vodacom South Africa reported a 5.4% rise in active customer growth to 35.1 million, adding 1 million users in the quarter

In South Africa, Vodacom has 14.9 million customers using bundles and it sold 329 million bundles in the first three months. Strong demand for data has resulted in data customers increasing 6.1% to 18.8 million. Data bundle sales increased 52.1%, largely due to the take-up of more affordable daily bundles, resulting in a 15.6% decline in the price per megabyte.  Average monthly data usage by customers on smart devices grew by 19.6% to 632 MB in the quarter.

Active smart devices on the network was up 18.0% to 14.1 million, 3.1 million of which are using LTE/4G.

“We have introduced a range of new high quality, reasonably priced Vodacom branded devices. These will offset impacts from currency depreciation and improve access to affordable devices,” the company said.

“One of the major highlights this quarter is the stellar number of customer additions in South Africa in both postpaid and prepaid, where we added almost one million customers. This can largely be attributed to the significant investments that we continue to make in infrastructure to sustain our competitive advantage to deliver the best network, superior customer service and great value to our customers through innovation such as our personalised Just 4 You offers,” Shameel Joosub, Vodacom CEO, said in a statement.

“A combination of these factors also means that our Net Promoter Scores continue to track well ahead of our competitors and shows that our CARE initiative, aimed at maximising the customer experience, is gathering momentum. A prime example of this is the expanded functionality that we have built into the MyVodacom App.”





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