Vodacom: Powering Connectivity in Africa for 30 Years

From pioneering mobile voice to powering Africa’s digital future, Vodacom celebrates three decades of innovation, growth and impact across the continent

One of the leading telco providers in Africa, Vodacom is a leading and purpose-led African connectivity, digital and financial services company. 

In 2024, Vodacom marks its 30th year as one of Africa's leading connectivity, digital, and financial services companies. Incorporated in South Africa in 1993 as a joint venture between Telkom, Vodafone and VenFin Limited, Vodacom Group launched one of Africa's first GSM networks in South Africa in 1994, the same year South Africa ushered in a new democratic era. As one of the first mobile operators in the country, the company played a pioneering role in expanding access to telecommunications for millions of South Africans, with its early innovations paving the way for the convergence of voice, data and digital services that define the mobile industry today.

Delivering connectivity to empower customers and drive economic growth

Starting in South Africa, the brand has grown to include operations in Tanzania, the DRC, Mozambique, Lesotho, Kenya, Ethiopia and Egypt, with its networks today covering a total population of more than 500 million people. The leading cellular network in South Africa, a major driver of Vodacom’s success has been its ability to package valuable, affordable, and flexible services tailored to diverse customer needs across its markets. 

This customer-centric approach, combined with continued network investment, has allowed Vodacom to build deep brand loyalty. The group now serves over 196 million individual customers, along with a large and growing base of enterprise clients.

Last year, Vodacom was voted South Africa’s most reliable network: testament to its commitment to deliver connectivity to its customers.

Vodacom has pledged to spend R60 billion (US$3.2bn) in capital investment in South Africa over the next five years, enhancing network resilience, rolling out 4G and 5G coverage to more parts of the country and meeting the demand for affordable connectivity.

“At Vodacom, we understand that in today's digital age, seamless mobile connectivity is extremely important to our customers, wherever they may be,” says Sitho Mdlalose, CEO of Vodacom South Africa. “In their everyday lives, whether it is at work, at home or on the road, customers can count on us for reliable, quality network services, reinforcing our ambition to deliver exceptional services that empower customers and drive economic growth across the nation.”

Vodacom enterprise arm offers range of solutions for businesses

A key driver of Vodacom's growth has been its enterprise arm, Vodacom Business Africa (VBA). Through VBA, the company offers an extensive portfolio of digital ICT services and platforms to multinational organisations operating across Africa and globally.

With dedicated teams and operations centres on the ground in eight African countries, VBA provides local expertise combined with a unified, seamless experience for clients. This regional presence is backed by industry-leading tools like a 24/7 customer service centre that gives enterprises visibility into their operations from anywhere in the world.

At the core of VBA's offering is a hybrid, software-defined multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) and virtual private network (VPN) infrastructure. This secure connectivity platform enables the flexible deployment of customised, end-to-end digital solutions ranging from hybrid private-public clouds to smart collaboration, Internet of Things (IoT) and more.

Vodacom is majority-owned by global telecoms giant Vodafone, one of the world’s largest communications companies by revenue. In a “bold commitment” to the digital future of Europe and Africa, Vodafone Group announced a 10-year agreement with Microsoft, with Vodafone to invest US$1.5bn over the next decade in cloud and customer-focused AI services.

“This unique strategic partnership with Microsoft will accelerate the digital transformation of our business customers, particularly small and medium-sized companies, and step up the quality of customer experience for consumers,” said Margherita Della Valle, Vodafone Group CEO.

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