Mobile operators have identified data growth as a key driver in 2013, with the focus falling on smartphones that are used to access social media platforms. 
In an interview with News24, Richard Boorman, Vodacom Group executive and head of corporate communications, highlighted social media as a key driver of mobile usage in 2013, as users share information via Facebook and Twitter.
The operator recently launched LTE mobile networks. MTN is also targeting data consumption as a major driver as more people access the Internet.
Lucky Mokabane, public relations manager for MTN SA, maintains that the Internet is a “must have” service that will create an increase in the consumption of video and high speed Internet services.
Vodacom plans to implement a multi-level approach, focusing on cost of devices as well as data consumption. Boorman says that the operator aims to reduce the cost of data, as social network users are often hesitant to upload pictures due to the cost of data.
Vodacom spent significant capital upgrading its network in 2012, and MTN says that a robust network would serve to improve subscriber experience.
Mokabane says MTN modernised over 4 000 in 2012, in preparation for LTE.
Vodacom indicated that mobile applications will continue to see growth, possibly driving demand for local apps.