Telkom fixed-line shocker

Telkom unveiled its interim results for the six months ended 30 September 2012, showing that the company currently has 3,894,000 fixed access lines – down from 3,995,000 in March 2012.

The latest figures show that Telkom’s fixed access lines are now at the lowest level since 1995 – a time before the company’s strong fixed-line growth started.

Since the year 2000, there has been a steady decline in fixed-line numbers, despite an economic boom from 2003 to 2007, and the launch of ADSL in late 2002.

What should be of particular concern to Telkom is that every segment of its fixed-line business has declined, including post-paid and ISDN lines.

The following table provides an overview of Telkom’s fixed-line performance over the last 12 months.

Lines September 2011 (’000) September 2012 (’000) Percentage growth
Fixed access lines
4,073 3,894 -4.4%
Post-paid – PSTN 2,513 2,465 -1.9%
Post-paid – ISDN channels 767 761 -0.8%
Pre-paid 675 571 -15.4%
Payphones 118 97 -17.8%

Telkom’s steady decline in fixed-line numbers since the turn of the century has been blamed on many factors, including competition from mobile services, copper theft and tough economic conditions.

The following table provides an overview of Telkom fixed-line growth and decline since the early nineties.

Year Fixed line subscribers Change
1993 3,458,000
1994 3,594,000 136,000
1995 3,773,000 179,000
1996 3,926,000 153,000
1997 4,259,000 333,000
1998 4,645,000 386,000
1999 5,075,000 430,000
2000 5,493,000 418,000
2001 4,962,000 -531,000
2002 4,924,000 -38,000
2003 4,844,000 -80,000
2004 4,821,000 -23,000
2005 4,726,000 -95,000
2006 4,708,000 -18,000
2007 4,642,000 -66,000
2008 4,533,000 -109,000
2009 4,451,000 -82,000
2010 4,273,000 -178,000
2011 4,073,000 -200,000
2012 3,894,000 -179,000

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Telkom fixed-line shocker