JOHANNESBURG - Telephone company Telkom said on Tuesday its headline earnings per share were down 3.3 percent to 288 cents in the six months to September.
Chief executive Sipho Maseko however said the company had delivered a satisfactory performance with operating revenue and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization growth of 5.2 percent and 2.9 percent respectively.
This was despite a challenging operating environment, where the country slipped into a technical recession while consumers remained under pressure from increases in value added tax, fuel prices and a weaker currency.
Telkom expands coverage with access to the Vodacom network
Earlier this month Telkom said it will soon have access to Vodacom’s 2G, 3G and 4G network throughout South Africa after a long-term multi-billion rand roaming and facilities agreement was signed.
Vodacom has the most extensive 3G network in South Africa, especially in rural areas.
Telkom, which is 40 percent owned by the state, said through the lease agreement it would use Vodacom towers, antennas and shelters to build out its own network.
The deal also brings an end to the 2G and 3G roaming agreement that Telkom signed with MTN in 2010.
Telkom, which is valued at R28 billion, currently has a roaming agreement with MTN which will expire in June next year. It also said it would conduct a phased transition from the current roaming agreement, which was expected to be concluded by the end of the contract period.
Serame Taukobong, the Telkom consumer chief executive, said customers would benefit from the seamless handover in the roaming agreement since this it would eliminate dropped calls when customers move between the two networks.
“As we invest in network expansion, we had a look at, among other issues, the dropped calls which have a significant impact on customer experience,” he said. “This new partnership gives us an opportunity to reach more corners of South Africa and continue our mission to give more for less."
Cape Town-based portfolio manager Peter Takaendesa at Mergence said if it was implemented correctly, the deal was likely to benefit customers as they would now have access to a wider network.
“The benefit to consumer also comes as network providers share infrastructure, meaning there is no duplication of the network. This means they (Telkom and Vodacom) will also likely reduce prices, although this is not guaranteed,” he said.
African News Agency (ANA)