Openserve, Telkom’s network division, today reported that homes passed with fibre rose by 20.7% to 549 957 for the year to end-March 2021. The company attributed this to the need to consume multiple digital services, leading to increased data consumption, driven by a surge in data traffic across fixed fibre and carrier connectivity solutions.
However, Telkom reported losing 318,000 fixed-line subscribers to 1.284 million in March 2021 versus 1.602 million in March 2020.
As expected, Telkom also reported a significant decline in fixed broadband subscribers, dropping to 605,807 in March 2021 compared to 686,525 in March 2020.
Despite the increased revenue growth in FTTH (Fibre-To-The-Home) and carrier-based connectivity solutions, the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on the Enterprise segment saw a continued weakening in legacy voice, and data requirements, said Telkom.
“This led to a revenue decline of 10.9% to R13, 485 million,” the company said.
“We are excited that our fibre-based transport and access infrastructure enables us to convert last-mile infrastructure into a seamless end-to-end customer experience, providing scalable revenue-generating opportunities in the near future.”
Telkom added that the new norm of work and study from home led it to enhance fibre speeds and set the new benchmark of minimum FTTH speed to 25 Mbps in South Africa, and introduce symmetrical speed offerings at no additional cost.
“This resulted in a 27.9% increase in fibre-ready homes, with more than 280 000 homes connected to our network, improving the connectivity rate to 51.1%. As we saw greater adoption of next-generation high-speed broadband, we continued to experience the migration of the low-speed digital subscriber line customer base to wireless solutions for their minimal data consumption requirements.
“While this negatively impacted the digital subscriber line base, the decline was offset by increased carrier backhaul provisioning growth of 14.8%, aligning to our drive to commercialise high-speed fixed broadband on our network while providing sufficient capacity to grow all other market segments.”
During the year, Openserve also announced that it would double the speed of its fibre lines.
“The attractiveness of such value propositions enabled the activation of more than 370 000 services, including broadband and other value-add services like voice over internet protocol, intercom and security.”