Vodacom entered talks regarding a network sharing deal with Telkom in South Africa, after its revenues were hit when Cell C abandoned it in favour of rival MTN.

Sources told Bloomberg Vodacom lost around $71 million of annual revenue when Cell C ditched its network and signed a roaming agreement with rival MTN earlier this year. At the time, Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos said in a statement the operator had concluded MTN offered the best solution for its business going forward.

Vodacom hopes a deal with Telkom, which is almost 40 per cent owned by the government and mainly offers fixed line services, will make up for some of the footing it lost.

GSMA Intelligence placed Vodacom and MTN as the country’s top two mobile operators, with market shares of 45 per cent and 32 per cent respectively in Q2. Cell C is in third place (17 per cent) followed by Telkom (5.8 per cent).

Bloomberg said Telkom is also looking to expand and step up competition with its rivals in the wireless space.

Ealrier this week Vodacom launched Africa’s first commercial 5G fixed wireless access network, in Lesotho, while announcing the technology was ready for deployment in South Africa when spectrum is assigned.