Telkom’s fixed-line nightmare

Telkom released its annual results for the year ended 31 March 2021, which revealed a continued decline in fixed access lines. The company’s fixed-line subscribers dropped from 1.602 million in March 2020 to 1.284 million in March 2021.

Telkom’s fixed-line nightmare

Telkom released its annual results for the year ended 31 March 2021, which revealed a continued decline in fixed access lines.

The company’s fixed-line subscribers dropped from 1.602 million in March 2020 to 1.284 million in March 2021.

This means Telkom lost 318,000 fixed-line subscribers over the last year. This equates to a 19.9% decline in its customer base.

This trend is nothing new. It started in 2001 when the company lost 531,000 subscribers from its peak of 5,493,000 fixed-line users in 2000.

Telkom further reported a significant decline in fixed broadband subscribers – down from 686,525 in March 2020 to 605,807 in March 2021.

Other parts of Telkom’s fixed-line business were also hit hard over the last year. Closer subscribers declined by 30% while its Internet all-access subscribers are down 15%.

As a result of these declines Telkom’s total fixed-line traffic plummeted from 8,832 million minutes to 6,787 million minutes over the last year.

The only fixed-line segment which showed significant growth was fibre. Telkom increased the number of homes connected to fibre from 219,583 to 281,065.

The increase in fibre-to-the-home connections were partly a result of the higher active fibre connectivity rate. It increased from 48.2% in March 2020 to 51.1% in March 2021.

The company also increased its fibre coverage and the number of fibre to base station connections.

Telkom’s fixed-line decline

The table below provides an overview of Telkom’s fixed-line subscriber numbers over the last 30 years.

Telkom Fixed Lines
Date Subscribers YoY Change
1993 3,458,000
1994 3,594,000 +136,000
1995 3,773,000 +179,000
1996 3,926,000 +153,000
1997 4,259,000 +333,000
1998 4,645,000 +386,000
1999 5,075,000 +430,000
2000 5,493,000 +418,000
2001 4,962,000 -531,000
Mar-02 4,924,000 -38,000
Mar-03 4,844,000 -80,000
Sep-03 4,812,000
Mar-04 4,821,000 -23,000
Sep-04 4,870,000 58,000
Mar-05 4,726,000 -95,000
Sep-05 4,730,000 -140,000
Mar-06 4,708,000 -18,000
Sep-06 4,675,000 -55,000
Mar-07 4,642,000 -66,000
Sep-07 4,621,000 -54,000
Mar-08 4,532,000 -110,000
Sep-08 4,504,000 -117,000
Mar-09 4,451,000 -81,000
Sep-09 4,398,000 -106,000
Mar-10 4,273,000 -178,000
Sep-10 4,234,000 -164,000
Mar-11 4,152,000 -121,000
Sep-11 4,073,000 -161,000
Mar-12 3,995,000 -157,000
Sep-12 3,894,000 -179,000
Mar-13 3,800,000 -195,000
Sep-13 3,713,000 -181,000
Mar-14 3,618,000 -182,000
Sep-14 3,531,000 -182,000
Mar-15 3,439,000 -179,000
Sep-15 3,323,000 -208,000
Mar-16 3,217,000 -222,000
Sep-16 3,090,000 -233,000
Mar-17 2,954,000 -263,000
Sep-17 2,840,000 -250,000
Mar-18 2,678,000 -276,000
Sep-18 2,566,000 -274,000
Mar-19 2,267,000 -411,000
Sep-19 1,975,000 -591,000
Mar-20 1,602,000 -665,000
Sep-20 1,432,000 -543,000
Mar-21 1,284,000

-318,000

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