Telkom recently switched over to Vodacom’s infrastructure for roaming, allowing its customers to roam on Vodacom’s 2G, 3G, and 4G networks where available.
This roaming deal includes seamless handover, which means that Telkom customers should be able to move between networks without calls or data sessions being interrupted.
The implementation has not gone very smoothly, however, with many customers complaining about the automatic switching between “TelkomSA” and “TelkomSA-R” networks – the latter of which is Telkom’s virtual roaming network running on Vodacom’s infrastructure.
Telkom customers can use All-Net data on either network, but if they have Telkom-only LTE only, they will not be able to access the Internet on the TelkomSA-R network.
There are a number of ways to circumvent these issues – such as buying All-Net data or turning off roaming – but it is not the end of customers’ troubles with the Telkom network.
Over the last week, MyBroadband received a number of reports regarding issues with Telkom’s mobile data connection.
This was also reflected in DownDetector reports, with the vast majority of users reporting problems with Telkom’s mobile Internet on 16 and 17 July.
The outage map below shows that these problems were reported from customers nationwide, with particular frequency in dense urban areas.
Users on social media also complained about Telkom network problems following the migration of roaming traffic to Vodacom’s infrastructure.
In a tweet sent out to customers who were complaining about network issues on 17 July 2019, Telkom attributed the issues to the migration of roaming traffic.
Hi there , pardon our delayed response and recent inconvenience , the issue was due to the cut-over to our new roaming partner ,which is was effective from 1 July , the network was therefore unstable ,however , the connection is rapidly stabilizing
— Telkom (@TelkomZA) July 17, 2019
MyBroadband contacted Vodacom and Telkom for comment regarding the network problems reported by customers and asked whether this was caused by the implementation of the roaming agreement.
Vodacom and Telkom respond
Vodacom said that it was not aware of any problems affect Telkom subscribers, adding that it is working with the network to ensure roaming is working as well as possible.
“Vodacom is currently unaware of any generic issues affecting Telkom subscribers’ data experience when roaming on the Vodacom network,” Vodacom said.
“Vodacom and Telkom are in continuous engagement to manage all technical roaming aspects to ensure the best possible roaming experience and that any problems are resolved with expediency once they are raised.”
The operator added that it is confident its network will be able to handle the extra load placed on it by the Telkom customer base.
“Regarding the capacity of the Vodacom LTE network, Vodacom continually monitors its network performance and is confident that Telkom’s traffic is and can be accommodated with no negative impact to our customers,” Vodacom said.
“Vodacom also continues to invest in upgrading its network to ensure that sufficient capacity exists where required.”
MyBroadband asked Telkom for comment on user reports of network downtime, but the company did not provide feedback by the time of publication.