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South Africa’s 9 Most Valuable Telecoms

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Luis Monzon
Luis Monzon
Journalist. Reach me at Luis@ITNewsAfrica.com

South Africa is the continent’s telecom powerhouse as it is home to Africa’s largest and most valuable operators – Telkom, MTN, Vodacom.

MTN is the largest mobile operator in the entire continent, while Vodacom dominates the market in South Africa specifically. In terms of fixed-line, Telkom and Liquid Telekom are still the biggest and badest players, but new competitors like Vumatel and SEACOM are on the horizon.

To find estimate values of South Africa’s most valuable telecoms, My Broadband looked at the annual reports of shareholders in these companies and what valuations they had attached to their investments.

Here is an overview of the 9 most valuable telecoms in South Africa:

  1. Webafrica – Estimated at $19 Million

Matthew Tang founded Webafrica in 1997 as a simple web hosting company, and is now one of South Africa’s largest ISPs, with around 60 thousand customers. The company has recently put itself up for sale and is looking for an offer of around R300 million, or $19 million USD.

While it has been valued at $11 million and $14 million, the company isn’t entertaining offers under its $19 million set mark.

  1. Metrofibre – Estimated at $84 Million

Founded in 2010, Metrofibre is an internet infrastructure company that provides managed fibre-optic broadband connectivity to South African companies.

Its customers include service providers, resellers, residential as well as business properties and consumers. The company also had a VOIP platform and recently launched its new fibre ISP – GigaGo.

  1. Afrihost – Estimated at $130 Million

Founded in the late nineties as a web hosting company by Gian Visser, Brandan Armstrong and Peter Meintjes. The company entered the broadband market in 2009 to bolster its market share as an ISP.

Today the company is the most trusted ISP in South Africa. The company was acquired by MTN in 2014 for $26 million. Since then, the company has grown strong and launched many successful new products. Recent valuations of the company’s value put it at $130 million.

  1. SEACOM – Estimated at $196 Million

South Africa’s first broadband submarine cable system was developed thanks to SEACOM, which laid the cables along the continent’s eastern and southern coasts in 2009.

Since, it has evolved into a fully-fledged telecom operator, offering high capacity local and international fibre-optic connections, internet and cloud services to wholesale and enterprise markets in Eastern and Southern Africa.

  1. Rain – Estimated at $797 Million

South Africa’s newest mobile operator has three major advantages, namely spectrum, a growing 4G and 5G network, and a roaming agreement with Vodacom.

ARC Investments, Rain shareholder said Rain’s revenue growth has been encouraging and the company has made significant progress improving on network performance and stability.

  1. Telkom – Estimated at $954 Million

A cornerstone of the local telecom market, and a vital agent for connecting millions of South Africans every year.

Telkom is South Africa’s largest fixed-line operator with 164,000km of fibre in the ground. Connecting more than 2.8 million premises with fibre through Openserve, with around 10 million subscribers.

  1. CIVH (Vumatel and DFA) – Estimated at $1 Billion

CIVH, the company that owns both DFA and Vumatel, is one of South Africa’s largest fibre operators. They make massive numbers in the fibre-to-home and fibre-to-business markets.

Currently, DFA’s fibre networks running through major cities and smaller metros in excess of 14,000km is valued at $588 million. Vumatel’s fibre network is over 16,000km in size, the company being the leader in the FTTH market.

  1. MTN – Estimated at $10 Billion

Amongst the most valued and admired brands in Africa, MTN is the continent’s largest telecoms operators with 250 million retail customers in 21 countries.

First launching in 1994, it quickly expanded across Africa and the Middle East.

1. Vodacom – Estimated at $13 Billion

The most valuable telecom company in South Africa. Vodacom launched in 1994 and has grown its operations to include massive networks in Tanzania, the DRC, Mozambique and Lesotho, as well as 32 other African countries.

Edited by Luis Monzon

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