Who’s making the most money per user: Vodacom vs MTN vs Cell C vs Telkom

All four of South Africa’s major mobile networks have published their financial data for the most recent financial year – revealing how much money they make per subscriber.

Vodacom claims the most money per customer thanks to its take from contract, or post-paid customers, who contribute an ARPU (average revenue per user) of R390 per month.

In its latest financial year, Vodacom reported adding 229,000 contract customers. However, because of its “pricing transformation strategy” there has been short-term pressure on contract ARPU, which actually declined 4.4%.

Pre-paid ARPU for Vodacom is relatively low at R58 per month, which brings the blended (combined) ARPU down to R101 – though it remains the highest among the four major networks.

Although MTN is the second largest network in the country, it’s actually Telkom who has the second biggest take per customer at R98 per month.

The group this week reported its financial results for the year ended March 2018, where its revenue growth of 5.9% was driven by a 47.2% jolt in mobile service revenue for the year.

Telkom saw a 30.2% growth in mobile subscribers to 5.2 million, with post-paid subscribers increasing by 20.5%, adding more than 250,000 subscribers to reach 1.5 million.

Telkom’s post-paid ARPU increased to R192, while pre-paid ARPU increased by 21.4% to R60, benefiting from an expansion of its fixed wireless LTE smart offerings to the pre-paid segment.

MTN‘s blended ARPU is a touch below Telkom’s at R97 in South Africa, with pre-paid ARPU at R83 – the highest of all the networks – and post-paid (excluding telemetry) at R297 per month.

In February, Cell C reported its financials for the year ended December 2017, revealing a blended ARPU of R73 (down from R76 the year prior), with a pre-paid rate at R56, and a post-paid figure at R209.

The table below outlines the ARPU for the four networks, including the subscriber numbers at the time of reporting.

Network Subscribers Pre-paid ARPU Post-paid ARPU Blended ARPU
Vodacom 37.1 million R58 R390 R101
Telkom 5.2 million R60 R192 R98
MTN 29.5 million R83 R297 R97
Cell C 16.3 million R56 R209 R73

Read: SA mobile share in 2018: Vodacom vs MTN vs Cell C vs Telkom

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Who’s making the most money per user: Vodacom vs MTN vs Cell C vs Telkom