Mobile operator Vodacom has reported a drop in service revenues in the quarter ending December 31, 2012, affecting both its local and African operations, though group revenue increased.
International service revenue fell by 4.1 percent to R2.8 billion (US$314 million), which Vodacom attributed to the sale of its Gateway Carrier Services. South African service revenues saw a decline of 1.7 percent year-on-year, to R12.5 billion (US$1.4 billion).
The company said though service revenues in its home operations are declining, its African operations have seen growth in other areas grown in other aspects, with group revenue growing by 1.7 percent. This was driven by group data revenue, which increased by 23.3 percent to R18.5 million (US$2 million).
“It’s been a quarter with strong performances in data and our international operations tempered by some challenges in our South African business,” said Vodacom’s chief executive officer Shameel Joosub. “Active customer growth across the group was also positive, with the international base growing 13% and the South African base growing 12%.”
“Data revenue increased 100% to R306 million, contributing 11% to service revenue driven by the increased take up of mobile internet services in all markets and the increased penetration of mobile financial services in Tanzania,” read the company’s trading statement.
“M-Pesa is progressing well in Tanzania with active customers increasing 72.6% to 4.7 million. It now accounts for 74.6% of Tanzania’s overall data revenue and 14.1% of service revenue.”