from NJABULO BUTHELEZI in Durban
KwaZulu Natal Bureau
DURBAN, (CAJ News) – VODACOM is investing over R1 billion (US$52,5 million) this financial year into the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) region’s network.
The investment is to increase capacity, resilience and accelerate access to connectivity throughout the province, particularly in deep rural areas.
From this expenditure, R700 million will go towards projects for radio access network, network capacity and upgrades, with R173 million allocated to improving core network infrastructure.
The region plans to modernise 429 base station sites and expand long term evolution (LTE) capacity to 774 sites in the current financial year.
“In pursuing our aim of creating an inclusive digital society, we are making a significant investment into the region’s network,” said Imran Khan, Managing Executive, Vodacom KZN.
The official said by expanding access to reliable, quality connectivity through the deployment of more sites and network upgrades, Vodacom aimed to provide an exceptional network experience to customers.
“With this effort, we hope to bring the benefits of digitalisation to all communities we serve,” Khan said.
Vodacom KZN’s 4G population coverage is standing at 95,8 percent.
The company is rolling out 23 new urban sites and 129 deep rural sites across the region this financial year to expand this reach and drive digital inclusion, especially in underserved areas of the province.
In addition, Vodacom now has around 200 sites on 5G, with plans to switch on another 122 within the financial year.
As a result of increased investment in network services, Vodacom KZN boasts a call drop rate of 0,34 percent and a call setup success rate of 99,4 percent.
The region also outperformed rivals in providing the highest ‘overall reliability’ score and best service for voice calls in an independent benchmarking audit by umlaut, part of Accenture.
Widespread load shedding continues to affect the Vodacom network in the region.
To keep customers connected, Vodacom KZN is investing R235 million into energy projects, including the procurement of 68 generators to add to an existing fleet of over 196 and increasing base station site power standby time to a minimum of four hours.
– CAJ News