Telkom added 4.5 million users by piggybacking on the competition – and selling data for R50 less per gig than Vodacom

Business Insider SA
(Facebook, Telkom)
(Facebook, Telkom)
  • Telkom doubled its mobile users in one year – partly by using MTN’s network, and partly by offering cheaper data prices than the competition.
  • Telkom sells one gigabyte of data, valid for 30 days, for R100, while MTN and Vodacom sell the same thing for R149.
  • Mobile now accounts for 25.7% of Telkom’s overall revenue, compared to 3.2% in 2013. 
  • For more, go to Business Insider SA.

Telkom more than doubled its mobile users in one year, from 4.5 million to 9.7 million, partly by using competitor MTN’s network – and partly by offering cheaper data prices than its major rivals.

Telkom users have in the past been able to use MTN’s 2G and 3G network to augment Telkom’s existing infrastructure, which has a smaller footprint than its long-established rivals. 

The MTN roaming agreement is, however, set to come to an end in June when Telkom will start using the Vodacom 2G, 3G and 4G network instead.

Also read: This is how much cheaper it may be to use Vodacom’s network via Telkom in 2019

The country’s fourth largest cellular network (and second youngest after Rain), also offers some of the cheapest data in the country at R100 per gigabyte valid for thirty days, compared to MTN's and Vodacom’s R149 per gigabyte offerings.

In its annual results published on Monday, Telkom said pre-paid subscribers grew by 109.3 % to 7.8 million in the year. 

The historically fixed-line telecommunications giant said it saw revenue increase by 5.3% to R41.8 billion, mainly driven by a 58.3% increase in mobile service revenue. 

Also read: Why Telkom will not yet invest in 5G – and when 5G will be available at Cell C, Vodacom, MTN, and Rain

Telkom’s mobile division now accounts for 25.7% of the its total revenue, up from 3.2% in 2013. 

Telkom said average revenue from pre-paid consumers grew by 19.8% to R71, and by 26.8% to R186 for post-paid subscribers. On average, the company makes R100 per active user. 

Its “Summer of More” campaign was predominantly responsible for new user growth by providing additional data and streaming value to clients, Telkom said. 

Also read: Here’s how MTN, Vodacom, Cell C, and Telkom could end up making (possibly rather a lot of) money out of Huawei’s Android crisis

This included smaller FreeMe bundles, with free SMSes and 500MB data for use on WhatsApp, which made the offering more accessible to the mass market. 

Telkom is also the first operator to partner with Netflix to allow consumers to stream video at cheaper rates through its LIT bundles.

LIT bundles already included content providers Apple Music, YouTube, and ShowMax. 

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