On Monday, Vodacom Group released its annual financial stats. The company’s data traffic shot up by 19.2%. During the group’s last quarter, data usage increased by 24.3%. Quite the year, Vodacom.
Throughout its year, Vodacom added a few more users to its list of customers, seeing 1.8 million people take up a contract with the communications company. This equates to a 8.2% increase over the previous year.
Due to the ever-growing number of smart devices globally, it makes sense for Vodacom to be pulling these increases. In South Africa, smart devices increased to 26.2 million in total, a 13.1% rise. On the other hand, 4G and 5G devices totaled 18.5 million, which is up 23.9%.
With the increased number of smartphones, the amount of data people use on their phones has increased too. On average, Vodacom’s users now2 consume 2.4GB of data monthly. This is up 14% compared to last year. It’s not quite in the realm of terabytes of data, but it’s creeping steadily upward.
Revenue is up, but only slightly
Vodacom said that prepaid data revenue saw a lower-than-anticipated increase of only 3.1%, due to so-called ‘price transformation’. Amongst these ‘price transformations’ were its zero-rated ConnectU platform, cuts to its major monthly data bundles, and discounts for poorer communities.
Despite experiencing less growth than expected, the company failed to mention increases customers had to bear earlier this year. These rises weren’t substantial by any means but were still a factor in Vodacom’s annual yearly prepaid data revenue.
“We invested R11.1 billion in our network, up 10.6%, to expand network capacity to manage additional demand for data, modernise our network to prepare for the next wave of Covid–19 infections, and enhance our IT platforms to maintain our competitive edge,” Vodacom said.
“Looking ahead, we will leverage our newly acquired spectrum assets in South Africa to improve 4G services and invest incrementally into 5G infrastructure to connect our customers for a better future.”
“We also accelerated spend on technology [operational expenditure] during the year to support improved resilience of the network,” the company said. The spend Vodacom refers to is the 110 megahertz of radio frequency that Vodacom acquired during Icasa’s recent auction. The bid for the radio frequency totaled almost R4.5 billion.