Vodacom SA now has 17.7m active data customers

Vodacom South Africa on Thursday published its latest subscription numbers and show just how much ground its competitors has to cover to keep up, especially Cell C that is trying to entice customers to its network.

According to the numbers Vodacom South Africa published, the country’s biggest mobile phone operator’s active data customers has grown to to 17.7 million (excluding Machine-to-Machine subscribers), representing 53.3% of active customers.

The mobile phone operator said smart devices remain extremely popular, with approximately 12 million active on the network in South Africa which is almost 3 million more than a year ago.

The average amount of data used per smartphone in South Africa increased 24.8% to 408 MB per month. The average number of data bundles sold per month more than doubled year-on-year to over 23 million.

“We invested another R2.4 billion in the network this quarter as part of the accelerated capital investment programme started towards the end of the 2014 financial year, resulting in wider coverage and faster connection speeds. The increased capacity supported data traffic growth of 45.7% in South Africa and 140.4% in our International operations, which in turn led to Group data revenue increasing 35.2%,” said Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO.

Vodacom South Africa’s data revenue growth accelerated 34.8% to R3.9 billion, with a 45.7% growth in data traffic, building on the improved data monetisation and efficiency trend “we saw in quarter four of 2015”.

International operations

Vodacom said data revenue for its international business, which include the Democratic Republic of Cono, Tanzania, Mozambique and Lesotho, rose 36.9% to R871 million.

The number of active data customers was up 23.8% to 10.3 million, and data traffic grew 140.4%.

“We continue to focus on our commercial and network offering to drive data growth, ensuring our customers have access to better low cost smart devices, such as Vodacom Kicka and SmartTab, expanding 3G network coverage and driving the adoption of data bundles. Data contributes 22.1% of service revenue,” said Joosub.

Clearly, Vodacom’s investment into its network is starting to pay off.

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