In a quarterly update to the market, the telecommunications giant said data revenue now accounted for 33.8 percent of service revenue, up from 25.8 percent a year ago, with active data customers of 17.7 million, representing 53.3 percent of active customers. The telecommunications giant said increased sales of data bundles had more than offset a reduction in the effective price per megabyte.
The statement added: “We continue to see upward migration to larger data bundles within our customer base, as reflected in the 24.8 percent increase in the average monthly consumption of data per smartphone. Smartphones and tablets used on average 408 MB and 774 MB per month respectively. The average number of data bundles sold per month more than doubled year-on-year to over 23 million.”
Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group chief executive officer, said: “We invested another R2.4 billion in the network this quarter as part of the accelerated capital investment programme started towards the end of the 2014 financial year, resulting in wider coverage and faster connection speeds.
“The increased capacity supported data traffic growth of 45.7 percent in South Africa and 140.4 percent in our international operations, which in turn led to group data revenue increasing 35.2 percent [to R4.8 billion].”
Vodacom added that m-pesa, the mobile-based money transfer service, also continued to gain traction in all markets. M-pesa revenue grew 16.1 percent, underpinned by strong m-pesa customer growth of 18.1 percent to 7.8 million. Following the launch last year in Tanzania of m-pawa, which expands the service to include savings and loans, 9.8 percent of m-pesa customers in Tanzania are actively using the expanded product.