Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Vodacom will enter into a joint-venture fibre network roll-out partnership in a move that will ramp up its expansion into the highly competitive market.

It has so far connected more than 21,000 homes and businesses with fibre.

Vodacom’s fibre roll-out plans suffered a setback when its proposed deal with Neotel failed in March 2016. It had aimed to add 1-million fibre-optic connections.

Vodacom said fibre was critical to the group realising the full potential associated with the increasing move to a digital-based economy.

CEO Shameel Joosub said the group was talking to different parties and would finalise the partnership in the coming months. In recent years, Vodacom has diversified into new areas to offset the declining revenue from voice.

It added financial services products such as insurance policies, loans and a range of technology products. for businesses.

Its insurance policies grew 28.5% to 1.1-million while revenue rose by 12.4% to R612m in the year to March.

It has issued loans, including airtime advances, worth R2bn.

Revenue from the Internet of Things services, another growth area for Vodacom, increased by 19.1% to R668m.

Vodacom’s enterprise business, which offers a range of communications and tech-nology services — including the Internet of Things — to corporates showed revenue growth of 12.7%.

The business is making strong inroads in a market once dominated by Telkom. Vodacom is targeting service revenue growth of mid-single digit.

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