Here’s hoping the Vodafone-Vodacom deal goes through

Here’s hoping the Vodafone-Vodacom deal goes through

After selling off Vodacom, perhaps Telkom could direct some of the proceeds into its fixed line infrastructure to enable it to provide more reliable service.

Subscribers have been obliged to tolerate Telkom's sometimes unreliable, often appalling, fixed line telephone service for years. As a state-run monopoly, Telkom could afford to be complacent about its incompetence because customers couldn't take their business elsewhere.

Neotel, South Africa's second fixed line operator that was kept waiting many years while the deadline on which Telkom would lose its monopoly was pushed further into the future time after time, is still in the early stages of building up its infrastructure, starting in major cities.

Telkom subscribers might have got their hopes up earlier this year, when a consortium including Mvelaphanda Holdings proposed a deal in which it would buy out Telkom and its assets provided the company unbundled its entire 50% stake in Vodacom.

While some analysts believe Telkom could benefit from new ownership, its paying customers probably think that any change would be an improvement.

And if anybody would like me to justify these comments, all that needs to be said is this: I live in South Africa.

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