Speaking at a press conference to mark the fourth anniversary of converged telecoms operator Neotel’s launch, CEO and MD Ajay Pandey has admitted that Neotel has failed the consumer market, and rather than prioritise improving its residential uptake will instead seek to embrace the more lucrative enterprise market. Pandey explained that, going forward, Neotel’s ideal revenue mix would be split 60% in the enterprise segment, 30% in the wholesale segment and 10% in the consumer market.
When Neotel was licensed as the country’s second network operator (SNO), expectations were high that its arrival would open up the fixed line sector, and provide relief for local consumers suffering from national PTO Telkom South Africa’s monopolistic market stranglehold. However, Neotel has failed to make any real impact on the consumer market and has come under increasing criticism from frustrated South African residents. Recent reports suggest that Neotel has 50,000 consumer clients and 600 corporate clients, which equates to an approximate12% of the enterprise market. Pandey insisted that although Neotel was positioned as a second national operator upon its entry to market, the company has instead focused on becoming South Africa’s first converged communications solutions provider.