Vodacom’s 43.2Mbps HSPA+ network grows

Summary: Vodacom boosts broadband network by adding 250 new 3G base stations, upgrading 2,335 base stations to 43.2Mbps HSPA+ and connecting more base stations to their fibre network

At its annual results presentation earlier this year (2011), Vodacom announced that it would be spending more than R6 billion enhancing their network in South Africa.

Vodacom also committed to a longer term target of doubling the number of 3G base stations on the network.

Vodacom’s Chief Technology Officer Andries Delport said that increasing network capacity and signal coverage has been a major focus since the beginning of the year (2011).

Delport pointed out that they have added over 250 new 3G base stations this year alone.

“Additional capacity has also been added by upgrading 2,335 base stations to more efficient double-speed 43.2Mbps technology,” said Delport.

Vodacom also introduced other measures aimed at improving the user experience, including:

  • Software upgrades on equipment that transmits and receives data via optic fibres have been performed to improve stability;
  • Several actions were taken to improve the overall voice quality on the network;
  • The replacement of all base station equipment has also been completed in Gauteng. KwaZulu Natal and Limpopo are currently in progress, with Western and Eastern Cape and other regions to follow.

The main reason for the replacement of the base stations, Vodacom explained, is to enable a seamless migration to new technologies such as LTE in future, without having to replace any equipment.

The new equipment is also more environmentally friendly, uses less power and improves network performance.

Andries Delport
Andries Delport

Vodacom further highlighted the following network developments:

  • The project to connect 2000 base stations with fibre by the end of the financial year is also progressing;
  • Implementation of additional fibre routes in the core network in Gauteng to improve capacity and redundancy; and
  • The re-architecture and the upgrading of the core transmission network.

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Vodacom’s 43.2Mbps HSPA+ network grows