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Latest Deals | 29th November 2021




One of the leading mobile operators on the African continent has been active in the market for almost 25 years.

Vodacom is South Africa’s number one mobile operator, with a subscriber base of 37.1 million customers. The company offers voice, messaging, data and converged services to its 66.8 million customers across 32 African countries, with its biggest markets outside of South Africa being Tanzania, the DRC, Mozambique, Lesotho, and Kenya. Vodacom started operations in 1993 after being granted the GSM license by the South African government. At the time of its inception, the company was owned by Telkom (50%), British communication giant, Vodafone (35%), and VenFin (15%). In 2006, VenFin sold its stake to Vodafone, resulting in the company having an equal share in the company as Telkom. Vodacom listed on the JSE in 2009. In 2003, Vodacom launched its youth-targeted franchise stores, branded as Vodacom 4U. The stores offer a variety of mobile devices and related accessories to its customers.

One of Vodacom’s most innovative services was the ‘Please Call Me’ feature that allowed a person who didn’t have airtime to send a free SMS to someone else requesting a callback. The service was a huge success when it launched in 2001, generating an estimated R70-billion for the company since its inception. The idea for the service came from Nkosana Makate, who was a Vodacom employee at the time. Makate has since won a legal case against the company that could see him earn up to 15% of the revenues from the service. Vodacom sponsors a number of sports teams and events in South Africa, with one of the best known being the Vodacom Challenge, a pre-season soccer tournament featuring both local teams and those from other parts of the continent. The first Vodacom Challenge tournament was hosted in 1999. Vodacom has been majority-owned by Vodafone since 2011 when the parent company decided to increase its stake to 70%. The buyout was accompanied by a change in branding, with Vodacom retaining its name but moving from its blue, green and white colours to the red and white corporate colours of Vodafone. The new look was unveiled in April 2011.

Vodacom was the first company to introduce prepaid mobile services to the world. Prior to that, mobile technology was only available on a contract subscription basis.