Vodacom sees surge in mobile data usage

Vodacom sees surge in mobile data usage

2014-02-06 08:35

Johannesburg -  Mobile phone operator Vodacom Group [JSE:VOD] on Wednesday reported a 40% jump in revenue from data usage in the fourth quarter, as smartphone use continued to grow.

The Johannesburg-based firm - majority owned by Britain's Vodafone - said 7.2 million customers were using smartphones in its main market, South Africa, by the end of the year.

That was up 600 000 from the third quarter, with the average data used increasing 83.5% to 254 megabytes per month.

The average US customer uses about 1.4 gigabytes a month.

Vodacom's operations elsewhere in Africa - Mozambique, Nigeria, Lesotho, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo - also saw an increase in data customers, said CEO Shameel Joosub.

"Data revenue more than doubled with data traffic now three times higher than a year ago," he said.

That will be seen as good news for mobile phone companies who are banking on increased data revenue to offset a fall in cellphone calls.

The uptake of phones in rapidly growing Africa is also helping.

Last year a study found that roughly two-thirds of the sub-Saharan population were still without a mobile phone.

But Vodacom's statistics showed just how much ground needs to be made up.

The firm, which boasts 56 million customers, reported that data made up around 22% of service revenue in the fourth quarter.

  • Johnny Martins - 2014-02-06 09:28

    just a pity I have not been able to get any data connection in Randburg or Centurion since yesterday.

      Dawie van der Westhuizen - 2014-02-06 10:03

      Same thing with me, I phoned them yesterday because of no data transmission on my nearest transmitter for two days already, they are "looking into the problem".

  • Makhulu Zulu - 2014-02-06 09:35

    Data prices are sky high but we don't have an option. Decrease the price and we will happily consume as much as our USA counterparts

  • Willem de Lange - 2014-02-06 09:44

    And this while their data is ridiculously expensive. Don't worry, all the losses these guys are going to make with the inter-connect rates, will be made up with data. The government must start regulating the price of broadband instead.

  • Carla Smith - 2014-02-06 10:49

    The average US customer uses about 1.4 gigabytes a month. LMAO. They use that in a DAY!

  • Piet Genade - 2014-02-06 10:56

    Biggest in SA but also one of the most expensive when it comes to prepaid data (which I use). Having said that, MTN is even pricier. Skande

  • Grunt Nomel - 2014-02-06 11:55

    I upgraded two accounts with 2 gigs each and received Vodafone WiFi devices. My usage has gone up because these devices use up more bandwidth. How convenient to blame the customers.

  • Rod de Vletter - 2014-02-06 12:16

    Vodacom charges about R150 a MB for Swazi MTN users in South Africa. A very neighbourly R12,000 bill arrived in my postbox after I spent two days in SA recently and forgot to switch off automatic data roaming. Pay As You Learn.

  • Hans Schouwstra - 2014-02-06 12:26

    no data connection or a very weak Edge signal altough we have a tower not 700m from the house. Letaba area. Not one of my mobile divices do connect and I have two. my phone if I put it on tethring sometimes. So vodacom I am paying but no services

  • Paul Du Toit - 2014-02-06 12:32

    In Stilbaai area the service esp. during the holiday season is very bad. Every call starts off with a good signal, fell to zero signal after the first few lines of dialogue, followed by a service error message... force you to phone angain, and after a few seconds again! Three call instead of only one.... because of pathetic coverage (?), misjudgement of capacities needed in season times.

  • oldman.vic.5 - 2014-02-06 14:07

    When I used Vodacom, the only surge I saw was the surge on my account. So called out-of-bundle usage for two days amounted to R5400. That amounts to 2.7Gig. ......

  • Nicholas Peter Bailanis - 2014-02-07 01:26


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