Vodacom is intent on driving data growth with a R6.2bn investment, according to the company’s interim results for the six months ended 30 September 2015, writes DUNCAN ALFREDS.
The operator announced on Monday that it had invested R6.2bn in SA to cater for data growth of 33.5%. This follows a R5.8bn investment in 2014.
“We see high demand for internet usage,” said Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO in an earnings call.
Data growth for Vodacom across its African operations resulted in revenue of R10bn, with South Africa accounting for R8.5bn of that.
Joosub said that the company’s branded lower cost smartphones and tablets was a factor in a 31% increase in smart devices on the network, with the company having sold 1.3 million branded devices in the first half of the year.
That ties with International Data Corporation (IDC) market share results that put Vodacom branded smartphones at 7.6%, second to a dominant Samsung at 56.6%.
Vodacom said that customers are migrating to data bundles with the company selling 500 million bundles – particularly promotional and low cost bundles in the first six months.
Customers on the Vodacom network use on average about 425MB of data per month but the operator is confident that data will continue its growth path because only 66% of customers use data.
Joosub said that the investment would ensure the company drives its agenda in SA.
“We are quite confident that network and customer experience will differentiate us.”
Meanwhile, Vodacom’s overall group results for the period also indicated that its total active customers across Africa increased 6.8% to 65.1 million, its group revenue grew 6.4% and service revenue was up 4.9%, and its group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and ammortisation (Ebitda) increased 13% to R14.7bn.