Vodacom adds 484,000 customers as it targets 5G services in South Africa this year

Vodacom Group said on Tuesday (4 February), that it added 484,000 customers in South Africa in the last quarter, supported by a successful Summer campaign.

The mobile operator said in a trading update for the quarter ended December 2019, that group revenue climbed 6.6%, supported by group service revenue growth of 5.7%.

It said that in its international operations, it added 1.7 million customers during the period.

South Africa revenue and service revenue growth rates improved to 5.9% and 4.6% respectively, supported by increased data uptake as the group continues to transform pricing as well as improved performance from its Summer campaign, Vodacom said.

International operations delivered service revenue growth of 9.0%, with strong growth in data and M-Pesa revenues, it said.

Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO, said: “Our sustained investment programme, aimed at delivering a better experience for customers in each of the countries where we operate, continues to yield results. This is reflected in the additional 2 million customers that we connected during the quarter, contributing to growth of 6.6% in revenue for the Vodacom Group. We now serve over 117 million customers across the group.”

Growth trends improved across a number of metrics in South Africa following the significant impacts over the past year from an ongoing pricing transformation strategy, the chief executive said.

“These included substantial cuts in out-of-bundle tariffs and lower bundle prices, resulting in a circa 50% decline in effective data prices since March 2016.”

Joosub said that a highly successful Summer campaign, which delivered 334 million free rewards to 17 million customers, contributed to an uplift in activity across the group’s local customer base.

The chief executive said operations outside South Africa now contribute over 40% to group service revenue.

Looking ahead, Joosub said that customers can expect to experience the benefit of the group’s revised roaming deal with Rain, which will further expand its 4G capacity in an environment where delays in assigning available spectrum will constrain capacity for all networks.

“Having been the first network to commercially launch 5G in Africa through Vodacom Lesotho, we expect to be able to launch 5G services in South Africa this year.

“This is possible thanks to a recent roaming agreement with Liquid Telecom, as 5G spectrum is largely unassigned in South Africa.”

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Vodacom adds 484,000 customers as it targets 5G services in South Africa this year