Vodacom still pleased with Gateway

Six months after rebranding, Vodafone’s South African affiliate, Vodacom, has turned in what Frost & Sullivan described as “a solid set” of financial results for the six months to the end of September, with total group revenue rising to R31.7bn (€2.9bn) from R29.5bn. Mobile data revenue was up 31.1 per cent year on year and EBITDA 7.6 per cent higher to R10.5bn on the back of a 38 per cent growth in data customers. Yet subsidiary Gateway Communications continued to drag on the company’s operating profit with an R318m impairment charge over the period.

Vodacom throttles BlackBerry users

Vodacom, the pan-African subsidiary of Vodafone, is reducing connection speeds for some of its BlackBerry users in South Africa “from 3G to 2G levels”. The company said that it studied the usage patterns of its customers to better understand the causes of congestion at peak times and found that more than 95 per cent of BlackBerry data usage was attributable to less than 5 per cent of users.

South Africa’s 8ta launches Blackberry service with aggressive pricing

South African incumbent operator Telkom is to offer ‘free’ mobile YouTube streaming to Blackberry devices in an effort to “Shake up the market.” The fixed-line player’s move into the mobile space took place last year, when it launched its 8ta division. Since then, the unit has pursued an aggressive pricing plan in a market previously known for high tariffs, not least for mobile data packages.

West African Cable System lands in Cape Town

A high capacity submarine cable system linking southern Africa with Europe landed at its final destination in Cape Town this morning. The West African Cable System (WACS), a 14,000km, 5.1Tbps system was brought ashore at Yzerfontein in the Western Cape and will both complement and compete with the 340Gbps Sat-3 system that went into service in the region in 2002.

South African regulator reintroduces controversial spectrum allocation requirements

South Africa’s Independent Communications Authority (ICASA) has reintroduced a controversial requirement that companies applying for spectrum must be 30 per cent owned by historically disadvantaged shareholders (HDI). With the country’s second spectrum auction planned for an as-yet unspecified time this year, players such as MTN and Vodacom could find themselves excluded from bidding for access in the 2.6GHz and 3.5GHz bands which form a key component in both telcos next-generation, LTE network strategies.

West African Cable System to land next week

The construction phase of the West African Cable System (WACS) is due for completion early in April, when the cable will reach its final destination point at Yzerfontein in South Africa. The cable was slated to be ready for commercial use by the third quarter of this year, but that target has now been pushed back to early 2012.

Cell C secures additional spectrum

South Africa’s third cellular operator, Cell C, has had its application for additional spectrum in the 2100MHz band approved. The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) approved the application in January but the carrier only went public with the news yesterday.

Vodacom sells out of South African WiMAX player iBurst

Vodacom group has sold its remaining 24.9 per cent stake in WiMAX service provider WBS, which operates under the iBurst brand.Vodacom intends to bid for 2.6GHz and 3.5Ghz spectrum, when it is made available, but the South African regulator specified that current 2.6Ghz spectrum holders such as WBS and therefore Vodacom may not qualify.

South Africa fights over spectrum

Far-reaching regulatory changes look set to heat up broadband competition in South Africa. How far this will improve WiMAX prospects remains less certain, particularly as the debate about how to allocate 2.6GHz and 3.5GHz licences is proving to be divisive and prolonged. Yet South Africa’s telecom landscape is undergoing seismic change.

Vodafone takes control of Vodacom

UK-based operator Vodafone said Thursday that its Rand22.5bn ($2.5bn) bid for a further 15 per cent stake in South African operation Vodacom has been accepted. The move takes Vodafone’s holding in Vodacom to 65 per cent, and allows the Big V to realise its long standing aim of taking control of the African operator. Vodacom […]

Voda makes offer to boost stake in Vodacom

UK-based operator Vodafone said Friday that it has made a Rand22.5bn ($2.5bn) bid for a further 15 per cent stake in South African operation Vodacom. If successful, Vodafone would then own 65 per cent of an attractive asset with strong market positions in South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Mozambique and Tanzania. Vodacom is […]

Vodacom snaps up Gateway

South African operator Vodacom said Friday it has agreed to acquire most of the assets of pan-African carrier services and satellite firm Gateway Telecommunications. Vodacom, which is a 50/50 joint venture between Vodafone and local carrier Telkom, is to pay approximately $675m for the firm. The broadcasting businesses held by Gateway are not part of […]

Vodacom’s WiMAX pricing comes under fire

South African mobile operator Vodacom, in partnership with WiMAX licence holder Wireless Business Solutions (WBS), has announced it will launch WiMAX services in October. Vodacom, which is 50 per cent owned by Vodafone, is targeting high end consumers, SMEs and large corporates with its WiMAX portfolio and hopes to lure ADSL and leased line customers […]

Mobile operators to invest $50bn in Sub-Saharan Africa

A group of mobile operators announced a substantial investment drive in the continent’s sub-Saharan region on Monday. The GSM Association revealed that a group of carriers including MTN, Orange, Vodacom and Kuwaiti carrier Zain are to plough more than $50bn into the region over the next five years in a bid to extend mobile coverage […]

Mobile TV hits Africa

South Africa’s number one operator Vodacom has launched MobileTVPlaya, a live and on-demand multi-channel mobile TV service. The service, enabled by UK-based ROK Entertainment Group, offers Vodacom customers a choice of 10 channels to receive via GPRS enabled handsets from a content portfolio of 22 channels at a monthly cost of SAR29.00 (£3.00). “MobileTVPlaya is […]

Telekom SA considering Vodacom sale

South African carrier Telekom SA has announced that it has opened discussions which could see it sell off its 50 per cent stake in cellular player Vodacom to partner investor Vodafone, according to local press reports. Telekom, which is the largest fixed line player in South Africa, is understood also to be considering a marriage […]


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