Telkom plans big year of change

Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko says that, by 2015, the company aims to provide uncapped internet, voice services and video-on-demand to its customers under one product, at a flat rate.

This is according to a column written by Maseko, published in the Sunday Times (26 January).

According to the CEO, such a service would be a highlight of a successful turnaround strategy at the company, for which the foundation was laid in 2013.

In 2014, Maseko aims to execute its plans, which includes “resetting” relationships and partnerships in the industry while moving to fulfill its mandate regarding the department of communication’s broadband access plan for 2020, and still meeting the conditions set by the Competition Commission.

The CEO noted, however, that big changes were needed at Icasa, saying that the regulator should stop pursuing Local Loop Unbundling, which would hurt Telkom’s business, and rather focus on the more important task of releasing LTE spectrum.

Maseko also raised a point of concern with its mobile arm, noting growing demand for mobile data amongst South Africans.

“While we’re working to meet the growing demand, Telkom’s focus now must be on reducing the financial risk associated with our mobile arm,” Maseko said.

Telkom Mobile

Telkom’s mobile arm has been the centre of attention in the past few weeks.

Maseko has long admitted that the Telkom Mobile business is going through “a very difficult time”, and is in discussions with parties over future operations.

The telco’s under-performing business has reportedly attracted interest from local operators including Cell C, MTN, and Orange, who launched a service in the SA market in 2013.

The company has also drawn the attention from a South East Asian company, in a potential proposal which would see over R30 billion invested in South Africa, some of which would go towards buying Telkom’s cellular tower infrastructure.

The company in question said it aimed to buy up to 1,600 Telkom towers and then build an additional 8,400 towers, under a proposal, which has not yet been submitted to Telkom.

A document seen by BusinessTech indicates interest in a deal, although no official proposal has yet been made to Telkom. A person who would lead the discussion process confirmed both the document and that a proposal was yet to be submitted.

More on Telkom

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Telkom plans big year of change