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ATF 2023: Vodacom SA CEO Sitho Mdlalose on 5G, fintech & fiber

Vodacom South Africa CEO Sitho Mdlalose spoke to Connecting Africa Editor Paula Gilbert at Africa Tech Festival 2023 in Cape Town about the telecoms market in South Africa and growth prospects for 5G, fintech and fiber.

He shared the operator's key focus areas for 2024 and how it is working to migrate more 2G and 3G customers onto 4G or 5G services. This includes bringing down smartphone prices and expanding device financing projects.

He also spoke about the opportunity for growing Vodacom's data user base and expanding 5G services for consumers as well as fixed wireless access (FWA) services for SA enterprises.

Vodacom has been trying to buy a 30% stake in fiber company MAZIV but in August 2023 SA's Competition Commission (CompCom) recommended that the deal should not be approved. Mdlalose said Vodacom was disappointed by the CompCom's decision but is moving forward to the Competition Tribunal and hoping for a different outcome.

"We really believe genuinely that this deal is good for South Africa," he said, speaking of major investments that the group would put into fiber projects and the jobs that could be created.

He spoke about Vodacom SA's aspirations in the financial services market through its super app VodaPay and the operator's efforts to find solutions for SA's energy crisis.

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

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