by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – MTN is investing R749 million (US$51,39 million) to increase network coverage in the Western Cape this year.
Rural and peri-urban areas are a priority, with a major 5G rollout among the key benefits for consumers.
The investment forms part of MTN’s Modernisation of Network South Africa project (MONZA), which will see an additional 1 350 sites finalised across South Africa.
Total 5G coverage is set to reach 179 sites in the Western Cape alone.
“Our top three targets for the province in 2022 are improving availability of the network, increasing data throughputs, and expanding our 5G footprint,” said Paul Newman, MTN’s General Manager for Western Cape Operations.
He said progress on network modernisation in the Western Cape was already almost 72 percent complete.
Through this rural rollout, MTN aims to have over 100 rural deployments nationally in highly underserved areas by the end of 2022.
Areas like Khayelitsha, Mitchellsplain and Philipi will benefit.
With the completion of National Long Distance (NLD) project in 2021, major commuter routes such as N2 will see a huge boost in network coverage,” Newman said.
He said R10,5 million will be spent on fixing damage caused by vandalism in the Western Cape, with new battery installations costing R64 million also planned.
Meanwhile, the heavy rains in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) have caused widespread infrastructure damage and power outages resulting in over 500 MTN sites down in the region.
“The flooding in the KZN region has caused power outages at many of our sites and while we have battery back-up at many of the sites, these batteries have been depleted,” said Jacqui O’Sullivan, MTN SA’s Executive for Corporate Affairs.
MTN assured impacted customers that technicians were working around the clock to restore connectivity.
“We know those affected need to be able to contact their families and friends. Access to connectivity is our priority and we are deploying all possible resources to assist,” O’Sullivan concluded.
– CAJ News