Vodacom CEO says data prices could fall even further

2017-05-16 16:13 - Kyle Venktess, Fin24
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Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub. (Pic: Gallo Images)

Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub. (Pic: Gallo Images)

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Johannesburg - Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub has told Fin24 that data prices could fall even further for customers, after recent results showed revenue growth spurred by data consumption. 

"Over the years, we have seen data prices decrease. When a person runs out of data, that is a missed opportunity to have offered someone a bigger bundle, offering more value for that customer," Joosub told Fin24.

"With the price of data decreasing, we want to continue to offer customers more value through content partnerships with services like ShowMax," he added.

The mobile network provider grew its data revenue by almost 20% year-on-year, to R20.696bn, while its local customer base rose to 3 million, results for the year ending March 31, 2017, showed on Monday.

READ: Vodacom data prices ‘fall’ by over 15%

Group service revenue was up 2.3% and group revenue by 1.5%, with the South African service revenue increasing by 5.6%, aided by strong customer net additions of 3 million, the company said.

"We need to make content more available to customers, offering more capacity and more speed,” he told Fin24. 

Also on Monday, the company announced that it had agreed to buy a 34.94% stake in Safaricom, giving the wireless operator majority control of Kenya’s biggest company. Vodacom shares rose 0.25% to R152.49 on Friday, valuing the company at R227bn.

"We are also focusing on finalising the Safaricom transaction throughout the second half of the year. Safaricom is a big financial services player and this deal is really transformational," he said. 

Safaricom’s M-Pesa mobile-banking product is a significant market leader, processing about 851 billion shillings ($8.2bn) of transactions during the third quarter of 2016, about 79% of the total value of mobile-money transactions in Kenya. 

READ: Vodacom profits grow as operator gains three million more SA customers

About 17.6 million Safaricom customers use M-Pesa, more than a third of the country’s 46.8 million population. 

The platform allows users to buy groceries and pay utility accounts, while enabling people in remote rural areas who don’t have access to financial services to send and receive money using only their mobile phones.

He said that, over the next year, the company would focus on strategic partnerships to make more video and music content available for customers, after recent results showed revenue growth spurred by data consumption.

"We are focusing on the South African market and continued growth of data, as more people now have access to the internet," Joosub told Fin24. 

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