There’s a widespread sentiment in the world of comedy that a comedian’s jokes should always punch up, and never down. In other words, it’s okay to make fun of blatant criminals, people in positions of power, moronic companies and general pompousness, but it’s inexcusable to crack jokes at the expense of those in actual suffering.
This is how we’ve come to feel about Telkom. It used to be fun to take jabs at the abysmal customer service, incompetent billing department and, well, the barely-there Telkom ADSL, where do we begin? But we can’t anymore. It’s just too sad. It’s so completely sad, the ineptitude so profound, that Telkom has almost become a parody of itself.
It wasn’t too long ago that Telkom even mistakenly agreed that it is the worst internet provider ever.
Anyway, Telkom has released its interim results for the six months ended 30 September 2018, and from a fixed-line perspective, it’s a doozy. As expected, the company has suffered an unremitting plummet in fixed-line subscriptions. The results show a 9.6% year-on-year decline in fixed access lines, dropping from 2.84 million in September 2017 to 2.56 million in September 2018.
The results also reveal that Telkom fixed broadband subscribers, which includes both fibre and DSL lines, are down by 2.5% to just 974 181.
Fortunately enough, the telecommunications behemoth has also enjoyed some (very surprising) successes, and we’re going to focus on that. Let’s take a look.
Though fixed service revenue is down, dropping 7% to R10.7 billion, mobile service revenue is up by 53.8% to R3.5 billion, underpinned by Telkom’s capital investment in the wireless network, extension of distribution channels, increased store footprint, and innovative data-led products.
The financial results also revealed that its group operating revenue is up by 5.2% to R20.8 billion.
Commenting on the company’s performance, Telkom group CEO, Sipho Maseko, said that the company had delivered satisfactory performance, despite a challenging operating environment.
So, despite the decline in fixed-line subscribers, new revenue streams are compensating for the loss, albeit at a lower margin.
The results included the following:
Telkom also recently confirmed that it had secured a partnership with streaming giant, Netlfix, which has taken South Africa by storm. This is Netflix’s first agreement with any South African telecommunications company.
Telkom content executive, Wanda Mkhize, said:
Mkhize confirmed that Netflix will be available on the LIT TV Box later this year, and that two teams are working on exciting mobile and broadband service offerings to be launched before the end of the year. These will include enhanced LIT video options and data offerings.