Over R500 million will be spent over a two-month period by Vodacom to improve its network capacity and resilience during the lockdown period and to help cope with any possible load-shedding.
This includes accelerating the installation of smart energy management solutions and supplementary network capacity, the company said.
“Vodacom’s priority is ensuring that all possible measures are in place to support South Africa’s efforts to combat the outbreak of COVID-19,” said Vodacom Group CTO Andries Delport.
Vodacom said it has received permits from the government which enable its field teams to continue performing critical duties during the lockdown.
These include repairs and upgrades to key communications infrastructure.
Vodacom also welcomed the directive issued by the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies which proposes the temporary allocation of currently unused spectrum.
Vodacom has applied to ICASA for temporary spectrum and is still awaiting the evaluation of its application.
Vodacom said that it has not experienced any major network outages since the lockdown began at midnight on Thursday 26 March.
Delport said that Vodacom is doing everything within its power to ensure it maintains its network service quality during this unique period despite substantial increases in traffic.
“We are monitoring all traffic patterns daily and prioritising key network upgrades to add capacity and maintain the quality of services delivered to our customers where required,” said Delport.
“We will continue to increase our network investment spend to manage the extraordinary traffic increases in the short term.”
The company added that it expects network traffic to increase even further because of its data price cuts of up to 40% which were launched on 1 April.
It also launched a range of free essential services which are available through its zero-rated ConnectU platform.
This article was first published on MyBroadband. You can read the original here.