While its rivals Vodacom, MTN and Cell C struggle with flat growth in a tough economic environment, Telkom is killing it in the mobile business, showing astonishing growth in subscribers in the past year on the back of its aggressive data-led tariff plans.

In the year ended 31 March 2019, Telkom’s mobile service revenue jumped by 58.3% on the back of an 85.9% leap in active subscribers to 9.7 million. If it keeps up this rate of growth in the new financial year, the company could soon challenge Cell C for the position of South Africa’s third largest mobile operator behind Vodacom and MTN.

And the company is not adding subscribers by going after lower-spending customers. Indeed, average revenue per user (Arpu) — a key industry metric — remained stable at R100/month.

Prepaid subscribers more than doubled compared to the 2018 financial year, increasing by 109.3% to 7.8 million (3.7 million previously).

“Our prepaid proposition continues to attract good quality subscribers demonstrated by a significant increase in prepaid Arpu of 19.8% to R71,” Telkom said. Post-paid subscribers increased by 26.8%, with net additions of approximately 396 000 to reach 1.9 million, with an Arpu of R186.  — (c) 2019 NewsCentral Media