Openserve passes over 1.2m homes with fibre

Admire Moyo
By Admire Moyo, ITWeb's news editor.
Johannesburg, 18 Jun 2024
Althon Beukes, CEO of Openserve.
Althon Beukes, CEO of Openserve.

Telkom subsidiary Openserve has passed 1.2 million home with fibre connectivity across South Africa.

This emerged today when the JSE-listed telecommunications firm announced its group annual financial results for the year ended 31 March.

Led by CEO Althon Beukes, Openserve is the wholesale network business unit of Telkom.

“Openserve’s fibre connectivity rate advanced to 48.5%, as we prioritised monetising our fixed network and passed more than 1.2 million homes with fibre,” says Telkom in a statement.

According to the company, “Openserve continued its leadership in the fixed wholesale connectivity market, which saw it increase its external channel revenue significantly by 10.7% to R4.5 billion, driven by next-generation fibre connectivity that now constitutes more than 93% of Openserve's external wholesale revenue.”

It explains that this external growth contributed to the total next-generation network fibre revenue, which grew by 7.4% and now represents 76.4% of Openserve’s overall revenue of R12.5 billion.

The group says the next-generation fibre revenue growth was driven by continued growth of 16.1% in broadband connectivity (fibre-to-the-home), while the enterprise and carrier segments grew by 4.8% and 2.5%, respectively.

Driving its strategic focus of improving its cost base, Telkom adds, Openserve continued to optimise its sites and implemented green energy solutions in the form of solar and lithium-ion batteries to support an always-on network thus reducing its dependency on high-cost energy solutions.

These and other cost-reduction initiatives contributed to margin expansion, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) improved by 6.6% to R3.9 billion, yielding an EBITDA margin of 31.4% (+2.8 percentage points (ppts)).

Openserve invested R2.5 billion to modernise its network and drive fibre deployment to pass 1 217 110 homes, a 17% increase, Telkom notes.

“Its connect-led strategy continues to see positive results, enabling it to increase its homes connected by 19.8% to 590 527, sustaining its leadership in the market with the highest connectivity rate of 48.5% (+1.1 ppts).

“Executing on its strategic imperatives to provide a highly reliable and scaled network while providing exceptional customer experience, Openserve continued to show network availability uptimes of 99.86%, 99.85% and 100% across its access, transport, and core network layers, respectively. The resilience and high availability of its network could also be seen through the growth in data consumption of 2 307 petabytes, an increase of 21.7%.

“Our fibre business, Openserve, has a national footprint that gives it access to eight million homes within a 5km radius of its last-mile infrastructure. Openserve will continue monetising this footprint as it rolls out fibre and connects homes and enterprises across South Africa, with the ambition of continuously driving our connectivity rate to reach 50%.”