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News : Poor ADSL Support and Slow Fibre Roll-out Cost Telkom
Pretoria, South Africa, November, 2015 -- Telkom’s financial results for the period ended 30 September 2015 show that the company’s ADSL growth has slowed to the lowest levels since it launched the service in 2002.
While some people put it down to Telkom’s strategy to migrate customers to fibre and LTE, the real reason is not as positive.
Telkom CFO Deon Fredericks said the slow growth was mainly caused by churn – people who cancelled their ADSL or VDSL service.
One of the main reasons for this churn, said Fredericks, was a problem with Telkom’s vehicles – which were needed to support its ADSL service.
This resulted in customers cancelling their ADSL service because of the poor support they received from the company.
Telkom spokesperson Jacqui O’Sullivan said the company has made inroads in tackling their customer service issues. "We still have a long road to travel to get to where we should be," she said.
O’Sullivan said Telkom has moved to a new supplier for its support vehicle fleet, and they are now well positioned to offer customers physical support.
Additionally, Telkom has "extensive interventions underway to upgrade the quality of the call centre agents" who assist customers.
Telkom is also investing in new infrastructure that strengthens the reliability of its network, and offers customers quick self-help solutions.
Fredericks said they have also lost broadband customers in areas where other players rolled out fibre before them.
"FTTH is a first-mover advantage game, especially in the areas where people can afford it."
"In one of the areas where we were not aggressive, we lost 70% of our customers."
He said it is costly to win back lost customers, which is why they will aggressively roll out fibre in areas where it makes financial sense.
He said the growing demand for data means that fibre access will be needed in future, further supporting the business case for fibre-to-the-home.
O’Sullivan said Telkom is currently rolling out an open-access fibre suburb in Bryanston, Johannesburg, where more than 12,000 homes will have access to fibre technology by March 2016.
"We will also be rolling out fibre in multiple additional suburbs in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban, Bloemfontein, Kimberley, and Port Elizabeth."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Telkom South Africa:
Telkom SA SOC Ltd. is a wireline and wireless telecommunications provider in South Africa, and operating in more than 38 countries across the African continent. Telkom is a semi-privatised, 39% state-owned company.
Published: Monday, November 30, 2015