JOHANNESBURG – The costly replacement of stolen cellphone tower batteries has forced mobile telecommunications company MTN to shut down 53 towers in Gauteng.
The company said it was losing millions due to the vandalism and theft of tower batteries. The 53 towers have been completely destroyed.
In the first half of 2019, the cost to the industry has reached an unsustainable tipping-point with MTN General Manager: Network Operations, Ernest Paul, saying the damage to towers and infrastructure is far exceeding the cost of repairing and replacing batteries and equipment.
Another major problem is that some acts of vandalism are so severe that hundreds of towers around the country are at risk of being permanently shut down, putting strain on the network and potentially diminishing the quality of the service provided to customers.
Cellular companies have in recent times been hit by rising incidents of theft of tower batteries, causing network disruptions for customers.