Expansion into the rest of Africa remains one of the main pillars of Telkom's strategy going forward, with many of the building blocks for this expansion in place.
The telecommunication operator plants to establish itself as a regional voice and data player through the provisioning of a range of hosting services, managed solutions, mobile voice and wireless broadband services.
To date, Telkom has invested in Multi-Links, Africa Online and M-web Africa. It has also signed a memorandum of understanding with America's AT&T, to explore the development of network-to-network interfaces between Telkom's regional networks and AT&T`s global networks in order to increase service to multi-national customers.
Telkom is also conducting significant market research in order to enter the mobile and data centre operations markets in South Africa.
In accouncing Telkom's results yesterday, CEO Reuben September, said: "The 2009 financial year has been both challenging and very exciting. We have succeeded in concluding the Vodacom transaction at an exceptional price, given the market conditions, and returning substantial capital to shareholders through the R19.00 special dividend and unbundling of Vodacom shares to our shareholders.
"We have also concluded the sale of our 75% stake in Telkom Media to Schenzen Media (Proprietary) Limited and taken our holding in Multi-Links, Nigeria up to 100%. Post the year-end, we succeeded in acquiring the business of M-Web Africa, including AFSAT, from the Naspers Group.
"Our footprint in Africa now covers almost the entire continent, excluding North Africa, providing Telkom with opportunities to extend our services to a very fast growing market.
"However, to date, our initiatives in Africa have been challenging given the high start-up costs, unknown and competitive markets, infrastructure and technology challenges, skills requirements and volatile currency and interest rate markets. The financial impact of this on our results is clearly visible in the impairments, foreign exchange losses and negative fair value effects we have had to recognise in the year.
"We believe Telkom is, however, well positioned to capitalise on these opportunities in Africa."