Telkom’s fixed-line voice revenue has plummeted in the past year, falling by more than 13,4%, or almost R1,1bn.
In its financial year to 31 March 2015, Telkom reported fixed-line voice usage revenue of less than R6,9bn, down from R7,9bn a year ago.
The group has blamed a 9,6% decline in voice minutes, resulting from fixed-to-mobile substitution, as the reason for the decline.
It has also pointed a finger at the 4,9% decline in the number of fixed lines in service.
Despite being granted a five-year monopoly in the late 1990s to roll out millions of new lines, which it did, Telkom has been cutting the number of landlines in service for more than 10 years as consumers opt for more easily accessible and convenient — and often more affordable — mobile alternatives.
In the past year, the number of lines in service has fallen from 3,6m to 3,4m.
Fixed-line subscription revenue has helped offset some of the sharp decline in voice revenue. Subscription revenue grew by 2,5% to R8bn in the year to March 2015, up from R7,8bn. This was as a result of average line rental tariff increases of about 6%.
One bright spot in the fixed-line numbers was an improvement in the number of broadband digital subscriber lines in service. TechCentral reported earlier on Monday that Telkom cracked the 1m DSL subscriber barrier for the first time ever in its 2015 financial year.
However, revenue from data connectivity services decreased by 0,4% to R5,4bn, caused by a decline in Diginet and international private leased circuit revenue due to increased competition and migration to Metro Ethernet services.
With continued self-provisioning by other licensed operators, revenue from leased-line facilities remained under pressure and declined a massive 22%, to R1,4bn.
Mobile was a much better performer for Telkom in 2015. Mobile voice and subscriber revenue increased by 46% to R717m (R491 in 2014) as a result of a 21,2% increase in the number of active mobile subscribers and a 19,5% increase in blended average revenue per user.
Telkom reported a strong 50,6% increase in mobile data revenue to R988m.
IT services performed well, too. “We won some key strategic deals in the IT market, which boosted our IT business services data revenue by 82,4% to R633m,” Telkom said.
The group recently received a nod from the Competition Commission to proceed with its R2,7bn all-cash offer to buy IT services firm Business Connexion. The deal must still be green-lighted by the Competition Tribunal. — © 2015 NewsCentral Media