South African mobile phone operator [DATA VOD:Vodacom Group Limited] on Monday reported a 6 percent rise in half-year profit, buoyed by strong growth in data revenue.
The South African unit of Britain's Vodafone said its headline earnings per share rose to 440 cents, from 415 cents, in the six months ended Sept. 30.
Headline earnings per share is the main profit measure in South Africa and strips out certain one-off items.
Data revenue was up 33.5 percent as Vodacom increased 4G coverage in its home market and grew its customers in other markets, the company said.
"In South Africa, LTE/4G coverage increased from 32.2 percent to 46.8 percent. We have already seen the customer experience improve significantly," said Vodacom Group Chief Executive Shameel Joosub.
Customers that have access to 4G have grown to nearly 2 million in Africa's most advanced economy and they use almost three times more data than those stuck with lower speeds, Joosub said.