[dropcap]T[/dropcap]elkom said on Monday that the number of fixed lines in service has fallen by 8,2% over the past year, to less than 3m, its lowest level in at least two decades, though this was offset by a 9,8% improvement in revenue per fixed access line and a strong performance in mobile.
For the year ended 31 March 2017, the telecommunications group reported a 2,3% decline in fixed broadband users, made up of both copper ADSL and fibre subscribers, to just over a million. The company no longer reports ADSL numbers separately.
Fixed-line voice usage and subscription revenue decreased by 6,2% to R13,6bn due to competition, the decline in the number of lines and customers migrating to lower-value bundled offerings, Telkom said.
Fixed-line data revenue, excluding IT service revenue, decreased 1,1% to R9,8bn.
Group capital expenditure rose by 43,3% to R8,7bn, mainly as a result of fibre and mobile roll-outs. Capex was 21% of operating revenue, up from 16,2% last year. Investment in fibre was R2,4bn (now including backbone fibre), up 82,6%, while mobile got R1,9bn, up 193,3%.
The number of homes passed with fibre increased by 169,7% to 219 825. The connectivity rate was 18%, compared to 10% in the prior year. This was supported by growth in the number of fibre resellers to 144 companies.
“The fixed-line business saw good growth in fibre subscribers, which was a combination of both migration from ADSL and new customers. Even though we are still experiencing churn in ADSL, this was offset by an increase in demand for higher speeds and larger uncapped data,” Telkom said. — (c) 2017 NewsCentral Media