Posts filed under ‘Vodacom’
South Africa’s Vodacom Group has reported a 13.7% year-on-year increase in revenues for the nine months to the end of December 2008. Sales climbed to ZAR40.5 billion (USD4.1 billion) on the back of a 14.3% rise in group subscriber numbers to 37.8 million. In its home market customer numbers were up 4.8% during the final three months of 2008 to 26.5 million, while Vodacom’s international operations in Tanzania, DR Congo, Mozambique and Lesotho saw customer numbers jump 8% quarter-on-quarter to 11.3 million. Vodacom Group CEO Pieter Uys commented: ‘Expanding our African footprint beyond South Africa is one of the pillars of Vodacom’s growth strategy. I’m pleased to say that this quarter we reached an important milestone, with 30% of our total customer base now coming from our operations in Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho and Mozambique.’
The South African market broke through the 100% penetration barrier during Q3 08 to finish the quarter on 101.8%. The total market reached 44.51m customers. Annual growth slowed from 24.2% for the 12 months ending 30th September 2007 to 10.7% for the subsequent 12 months, the lowest rate since Q2 02. However, this rate was the same as that recorded in Q2 08, and in real terms annual growth rose quarter-on-quarter, from 4.18m to 4.30m.
Vodacom remains the market leader in South Africa, and it reversed two quarters of net losses with a quarterly gain of 0.32m connections in Q3 08. However, this was the lowest figure in the market – the fourth time in a row it has picked up this dubious honour. Moreover, its third-quarter gain was not enough to compensate for the previous losses, with a resultant year-on-year decline of 24k. It finished Q3 with 22.48m and 50.5% market share, down from 56.0% a year earlier.
India’s Tata Communications has increased its stake in South Africa’s second national operator (SNO) Neotel by 30%, acquiring shares from government-backed entities Eskom and Transnet. Tata Communications and its local operating arm Tata Africa Holdings now have a majority shareholding in the SNO. ‘We will support Neotel’s efforts to provide global quality telecom services in South Africa,’ said N. Srinath, the managing director and CEO of Tata Communications. Ajay Pandey, MD and CEO of Neotel, commented: ‘This transaction further allows Neotel to leverage on Tata Communications’ proven and vast global network of tried and tested technologies in countries such as India with similar telecoms landscape to South Africa.’
Separately, South African cellular operator Vodacom is reportedly lining up to participate in a ZAR2 billion (USD197 million) 5,000km national fibre-optic cable project involving Neotel and rival mobile firm MTN which was announced last week. Vodacom is thought likely to join the partnership once fixed line operator Telkom has divested its 50% stake. One source close to the deal told local newspaper Business Day: ‘Vodacom will join in the collaboration. It can’t at the moment because it has Telkom as a shareholder, but they are going through the divorce.’ Vodacom had been planning to deploy its own national fibre network, but joining with Neotel and MTN will offer significant savings on rollout costs.
Vodacom completed the purchase of the carrier services and business network units of Gateway for USD700 million yesterday. The transaction was originally announced at the end of August 2008. Gateway is Africa’s largest independent provider of interconnection services via satellite and terrestrial network infrastructure, and provides end-to-end connectivity services to African and multinational companies across 40 countries.
The government of Mozambique is to launch a tender for the country’s third cellular concession in the first half of next year. ‘There is a market. At the moment we are just putting the bidding documents together; we hope to launch an international tender before June 20, 2009’, government minister Paulo Zucula told Reuters. ‘There are 20 million people in Mozambique and only a fraction have access to the mobile phone network, so there is … space for growth and I’m sure that any company that would get the new licence will flourish soon,’ Zucula added. Mozambique is currently home to two cellular operators: state-backed mCel, which has around 3.5 million customers, and the local subsidiary of South Africa’s Vodacom, with around 1.3 million clients.