Staff Writer – https://businesstech.co.za
Telkom has published its full year results for the period ending March 2019, reporting massive growth in its active mobile subscriber base.
The group said it added 4.5 million new mobile customers in the 12 month period, taking its base from 5.2 million in FY2018, to 9.7 million in 2019.
Telkom is South Africa’s fourth largest mobile operator.
The country’s biggest operator, Vodacom, said that it added 1.5 million local customers for the year ended March 2019, taking its subscriber base to 43.2 million.
In a recent quarterly update, MTN reported a slight drop in its local numbers to 30 million customers, from 31.2 million at the end of December 2018.
While Cell C is not a listed company in South Africa, its subscriber numbers are presented by Blue Label Telecoms which owns a large stake in the group. For its full year results, Blue Label reported 17.2 million subscribers for Cell C, up from 16.3 million in the previous period.
Newer entrants like Rain Mobile do not publish their subscriber numbers and are thus excluded in this analysis – but MVNO data, where available, is included.
The MVNO market includes the likes of FNB Connect, Me&You Mobile, Pick n Pay, MRP Mobile and others. Most of these networks run on the Cell C network, which is included in the group’s reporting.
Total MVNOs on Cell C’s network were at 1.8 million, according to Blue Label.
Cell C’s is the only outlier, with its most recent data taken from Blue Label Telecoms’ reporting, which represents data from the end of November 2018.
BusinessTech asked Cell C for its subscriber numbers at the end of March 2019, but the company did not respond by the time of publication.
The graph below shows the context of the data, in terms of what the numbers represent:
An approximation of South Africa’s mobile market as reported by GSMA Intelligence for the first quarter of 2019 shows that the country is approaching 100 million mobile connections, giving it a penetration rate of 172%.