MOBILE NETWORKS UP IN ARMS
The Vodacom trading update was decent enough as data continues to be the big growth driver – over 40% of its customers now use data on its network, and data revenue was up just over 40%, making up almost a quarter of revenue. This is on the back of a 6.7% fall in SMS revenue.
The f ut ure i n t his i ndustr y is most def initely data as smart devices drive usage coupled with lower data rates also driving usage (I still remember paying effectively R2 000/GB of data less than a decade ago and now I can get it for under R100/GB). The panic about the interconnect rates favouring the smaller players is just a storm in a teacup. Sure, the big players will lose some revenue, but this generates only 7% of total revenue and has been in decline for some time. Further, the claims made by some network operators that the new rates will mean that they won’t be able to spend as much on maintaining their networks is total nonsense, they still generate massive profits and quality network infrastructure is core to their businesses.