Mobile operator Vodacom says that it plans to invest R570 million into its network in the Western Cape to improve quality and capacity, while also extending its network coverage in both urban and rural areas.
The group said that 470 million will be allocated to improve the quality, capacity and reach of the broadband network infrastructure, while the remaining R100 million will be spent on energy projects for uninterrupted connectivity during power outages.
“This network investment will continue to focus on further expansion of the 5G footprint, ongoing modernisation of the existing network infrastructure, and upgrading of base station sites with more LTE capacity throughout the province,” it said.
“This will provide an improved data experience for our consumers and ideal connectivity for businesses with growing digital needs.”
With load shedding continuing to be a major network challenge and a significant source of additional cost to keep the network up, Vodacom said the energy investment will include more static generators and upgrading old batteries.
It noted that the region has doubled its mobile generator fleet to improve network reliability in the event of rolling blackouts for longer periods.
In March 2022, Vodacom South Africa acquired a total of 110 MHz high-demand spectrum as part of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s (ICASA) auction and assignment process.
Using the new spectrum, Vodacom in the Western Cape region quadrupled its 5G network reach over the last year.
“With 5G now available on over 200 base stations in the Western Cape, Vodacom customers in various high-demand urban areas can enjoy access to the latest mobile technology with substantial network capacity and broadband network speeds,” it said.
Furthermore, to improve indoor signal quality, expand LTE capacity and especially to improve the reach of our LTE signal in rural areas, Vodacom deployed LTE on the newly acquired 700MHz spectrum on more than a quarter of its installed base in the region as well.