MTN has apologised to subscribers affected by recent service disruptions in the past two weeks, saying that network upgrades and Eskom load shedding were at the heart of the outages.
MTN said that it recently needed to re-engineer its network in certain parts of the country to ensure that it was of an acceptable standard and was capable of satisfying the needs of customers.
“The adjustments were many and they included reviewing how we can optimally utilise the existing spectrum, which entailed re-configuring the current allocation of our spectrum,” said Eben Albertyn, chief technology officer at MTN SA.
As a result of the equipment upgrades undertaken by MTN, some subscribers experienced intermittent service disruptions in and around metro areas.
Load shedding made it worse
MTN went on to say that Eskom’s load shedding exacerbated its disruptions.
It said that although it has batteries and generators at base stations in the event of power failures, these measures offered a limited backup time.
“Furthermore, several hundred sites have been vandalised and batteries have been stolen in recent months,” MTN said.
The network operator said that, where possible, it had deployed batteries to sites to alleviate the impact of power outages.
“We are working tirelessly to ensure there is minimal impact on services and are planning for a speedy completion. We are aware that the demand will spike over the festive season and we remain confident that these interventions will bolster our capacity to meet expected traffic,” said Albertyn.
There were a also number of MTN customers who migrated from Nashua Mobile on 25 November who experienced connectivity problems. These customers were inadvertently disconnected, but according to MTN services were restored on the same day.
“MTN apologises to its customers for any inconvenience caused during this time,” Albertyn said.