by NJABULO BUTHELEZI
DURBAN, (CAJ News) – MTN South Africa has achieved 98 percent network availability in the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province.
The mobile operator has modernised 245 sites in the region and plans to reach 317 before year-end.
It is also rolling out 28 new sites this year, including in rural areas.
“This will enhance capacity and drive quality of connection in the areas of eThekwini,” said Matthew Khumalo, Executive: Regional Operations at MTN.
In addition, 45 new 5G sites have been deployed in some new areas like Hilton, Vryheid, Ulundi, Stanger/KwaDukuza, with consolidation taking place in other areas to expand coverage.
This adds to the 246 5G sites in the region.
Khumalo said 50 percent of the overall network resilience plan in KZN is complete, and the rollout of standby power to cover 36 percent of the KZN network will be in place by the end of the year.
Apart from the challenges posed by the return of load shedding, theft and damage at sites remains a challenge.
The main things being stolen are batteries, power cables, even microwave dishes.
Furthermore, continuous power faults and delays in repairs are impacting power to sites.
Network availability during load shedding is often reduced to as little as 86 percent during the worst load shedding schedules.
“But this is definitely not the only problem we are facing, and some areas are now even being hit with load reductions,” said Khumalo.
Thanks to an ongoing investment and modernisation drive and the provision of backup solutions, however, MTN in KZN has been able to ensure it has around 98percent network availability on the sites which are completed.
MTN Group aims to achieve 95 percent rural broadband coverage by 2025 in Africa.
In KZN, MTN is rolling out 14 rural sites this year, led by successful completed sites in Greytown, Tugela Ferry rural and Qacha’s Nek Border Post into Lesotho.
– CAJ News