Telkom customers holding the line

Robert Laing

Robert Laing

Telkom managed to slow the past decade's exodus of landline subscribers to a 1,2 percent decline to 4,6 million in September from the same month last year.

The phone company managed to squeeze 0,5 percent more money from its dwindling landline subscribers, reporting R16 billion revenue for the six- month period.

Its traditional fixed-line business contributed 59 percent of its overall R27 billion interim revenue, with half-owned cellphone network Vodacom contributing the rest.

Encouraging customers to use copper wires for data rather than voice helped raise its revenue a fraction, but operating profit fell 5 percent to R7 billion.

Telkom's ADSL customer base leaped 76 percent to 335 112. The growing number of people accessing the Internet via flat-rate ADSL rather than pay-per second modems saw local calls plunge 18 percent to seven billion minutes from last year's interim period.

But despite growing broadband access letting people use services like Skype, international calls grew 15 percent to 305 million minutes. Telkom's results said Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) traffic grew 10 percent to 22 million minutes.

Telkom's share price dropped 1,5 percent and closed at R162,55 in yesterday's trade.