Vodacom to conduct 5G trials in South Africa with Nokia

Vodacom 5GNokia announced its MoU with Vodacom to conduct 5G trial of Nokia 5G technology in South Africa.

Vodacom and Nokia will also collaborate to understand how 5G can drive economic growth in vertical industries important to South Africa including manufacturing, mining, healthcare, media, energy and transportation.

The 5G trial is happening at a time when Vodacom is aiming to become a leading digital company in South Africa.

Vodacom has 5.1 million 4G customers on its network as its data strategy focuses on increasing 3G and 4G device uptake as on March 31, 2017. ARPU of 4G customers increased 25.5 percent on average as customer transition from 3G to 4G. The average MB per smartphone increased 25 percent to 560 MB with high-end smartphone usage growing by 32 percent to 1.6 GB.

“The adoption of 5G will help us to deliver against some of the digital technologies in areas such as big data analytics, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, autonomous vehicles and the Internet of Things,” said Andries Delport, chief technology officer of Vodacom Group.

Vodacom financials

Vodacom Group revenue rose 1.5 percent in the fiscal year and service revenue grew 2.3 percent. The growth in service revenue was supported by 5.5 million increase in customers and data growth of 16.4 percent. Revenue growth was impacted by 4.4 percent decline in equipment revenue as a result of slightly lower device sales, mainly impacted by weaker currency for most of the year.

EBITDA rose 2.9 percent to R31.2 billion with the group EBITDA margin expanding by 0.5 percent to 38.4 percent. The expansion in margin was achieved despite a R331 million net foreign exchange loss with a net gain of R383 million in the prior year. South Africa expanded their margin by 1.2 percent to 41.4 percent with most of the improvement achieved from the contribution of margin improvement.

Capital expenditure of Vodacom declined in the last fiscal. Vodacom has invested R11.3 billion or 13.9 percent of revenue.

Vodacom South Africa has achieved 5.6 percent service revenue growth through strong customer additions and increased demand for data and enterprise services. Vodacom South Africa added 2.7 million prepaid customers and 218,000 contract customers in the fiscal year.