Vodacom Adds 1.6 million Customers in the Third Quarter 2016

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Vodacom Head Office in Midrand
Vodacom Head Office in Midrand (Photo Credit: Vodacom Now)

by Staff Writer

South African-based Vodacom’s latest promotions seem to be paying off, as the telco added more than 1.6 million customers in the third quarter ended 31 December 2016.

Vodacom, which is owned by British mobile phone giant Vodafone, announced on Wednesday that it added 690 000 new subscribers in South Africa and 876 000 in its International operations, pushing its total active customer base to 65.2 million.

To compete aggressively against its rivals – MTN, Cell C, FNB Connect, Telkom and Virgin Mobile, etc – Vodacom has been running a range of promotions to distinguish itself from its competitors. Some of the promotions include youth proposition under the NXTLVL banner and its summer campaign and the success of its focus on bundle adoption through ‘Just 4 You,’.

Attracting Youth Customers

Nearly a million youth customers have registered for Vodacom’s youth proposition, NXTLVL.

In South Africa, Vodacom said it sold 418 million data bundles, up 34.8%. The number of bundle users increased 13.3% to 16.3 million.

Vodacom also reported that revenue was up 1.2% to R21.2 billion and data revenue rose 18.4% to R6.5 billion in the third quarter to end-December. The company added that service revenue was slightly up by 1.3% to R17.4 billion with the International service revenue dropping 8.2% to R4.2 billion; impacted by customer registration processes and currency volatility.

Shameel Joosub, Vodacom CEO
Shameel Joosub, Vodacom CEO

“Performance was driven by strong customer growth in South Africa and strong data demand,” Shameel Joosub, Vodacom’s CEO, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Vodacom said the strong demand for data continues with traffic growth of 44.8% in South Africa and 61.7% across its international operations.

To support this continued growth and to strengthen its network and service differentiation, Vodacom invested R2.7 billion in its infrastructure including R2.1 billion in South Africa where it expanded 4G coverage to 70% of the population and 3G to 99%. This resulted in Vodacom adding 1.1 million 4G customers in the quarter to reach 4.8 million. While active smart devices on the Vodacom network rose 23.1% to 16.6 million with the average monthly data usage on these devices at 667MB contributing to the 44.8% improvement in data traffic.

As part of our effort to continuously reduce the cost to communicate in South Africa through its bundle pricing strategy, voice and data prices fell by 17.6% and 15.4% respectively as significantly more prepaid and contract customers benefitted from using bundles.

“Over the past four years, we have reduced the price of data by more than 60%. Another significant win in helping bridge the digital divide was the introduction of a 4G device below the key R1 000 price-point to add to the success of the Smart Kicka 2, a low-priced yet high-quality 3G smartphone,” the company said.

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