VODACOM has invested over R1 billion to build 38 new 3G and 4G-enabled base station sites and will be implementing LTE capacity upgrades to over 75 percent of base stations in the Western Cape.
Of the 38 new base stations, 16 will be in townships and six in rural communities,
The mobile telecommunications company said this forms part of its commitment to building a digitally inclusive society where there is increased access to online essential services and information.
Vodacom Western Cape managing executive, Carol Hall, said the company’s purpose is to ensure this digital inclusion by expanding network coverage, and upgrading existing base station sites across the Western Cape.
According to Hall, 3G and 4G population coverage in the region is now 99.5 percent and 97.6 percent respectively.
“This increase in access to connectivity has the potential to transform lives, especially in previously under-served areas in which existing inequalities continue to widen,” said Hall.
The company said base station sites are often challenged with vandalism, battery and cable theft. Vodacom said five to seven base stations are vandalised each week in the Western Cape.
“This can impact network availability, particularly during load-shedding when back-up batteries and generators are needed to minimise service disruption,” said Vodacom.
Hall said that through ongoing evaluations of network performance and capacity upgrade projects, Vodacom can manage increased loads and network faults faster, achieving more reliable restoration times.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE