from SIBUSISO SHONGWE in Mbombela, Mpumalanga
MBOMBELA, (CAJ News) – VODACOM will invest R600 million (US$35,57 million) into its network in the Mpumalanga Province this financial year.
The investment is to accelerate coverage reach and meet the increasing demand for internet services, while driving digital inclusion.
Zakhele Jiyane, Managing Executive for Vodacom Mpumalanga, highlighted in the past two years, Vodacom Mpumalanga spent R1 billion on network upgrades and solutions to support transition from a telecommunications operator to a technology provider.
Through this investment it has deployed more sites, upgrade base stations and expand connectivity through the roll out of next generation technology and fibre.
This is particularly to deep rural areas of the province.
From this year’s capital expenditure, R334 million will go to network upgrades and the deployment of new base station sites, with R256 million allocated for microwave and fibre transmission projects.
Vodacom has reported a 37 percent increase in data traffic in the region year-on-year, with 67 percent of all Vodacom devices in Mpumalanga able to perform data services.
“It is clear that we are a data-centric network, with over 85 percent of this data traffic generated on LTE (or 4G),” Jiyane said.
“It is therefore imperative that we invest in network capacity and coverage to continue to deliver our exceptional network experience and expand the reach of our services to customers seeking high quality connectivity,” Jiyane said.
In March this year, Vodacom acquired a 110MHz spectrum portfolio, worth over R5 billion.
It has enabled the company to increase coverage and capacity for 4G and 5G.
The newly acquired 10MHZ in the 700MHz band has seen the company improving the network experience in areas of Dullstroom, KwaMhlanga, Mbombela and Wakkerstroom.
Meanwhile, Vodacom Mpumalanga invested R111 million last year in battery upgrades at base station sites, with a further R58 million allocated to back-up energy solutions this financial year.
This is to maintain network availability and call set up success rate in the event of a power disruption, such as load-shedding.
– CAJ News