Vodacom spending R600 million to expand coverage and capacity in Mpumalanga

Vodacom plans to spend R600 million on expanding its coverage and network capacity in Mpumalanga to provide access to affordable, high-quality connectivity in the province.

Of the R600 million investment, R334 million is earmarked for network upgrades and the deployment of new base station sites, while the remainder is allocated for microwave and fibre transmission projects.

“We have seen a 37% increase in data traffic in the region year-on-year, with 67% of all Vodacom devices in Mpumalanga able to perform data services,” Vodacom Mpumalanga managing executive, Zakhele Jiyane, said.

“It is therefore imperative that we invest in network capacity and coverage to continue to deliver our exceptional network experience and expand the reach of our services to customers seeking high-quality connectivity.”

Approximately 30% of the region’s Vodacom customers use 2G-enabled mobile phones, and the mobile network operator has partnered with Google to lower the entry point for devices capable of using new technologies.

It has also launched a project to sell second-hand devices.

Zakhele Jiyane, Vodacom Mpumalanga region managing executive

“We understand that our customers are experiencing tough economic conditions, with rising fuel prices, food inflation and interest rates affecting the cost of living,” Jiyane said.

“We hope to ease this burden through our affordable data solutions and initiatives for smartphone ownership while increasing access to connectivity.”

Jiyane also said that the acquisition of Vodacom’s new spectrum has allowed the company to increase its LTE and 5G coverage, adding that Vodacom Mpumalanga was the first operator to roll out 5G in the province.

“In addition, the newly acquired 10MHZ in the 700MHz band is helping us to address rural coverage and indoor penetration challenges, improving the network experience in areas of KwaMhlanga, Wakkerstroom, Dullstroom and Mbombela, for example,” Jiyane said.

“We have earmarked R85 million this year to ensure other communities are able to reap the same benefits.”

To overcome network disruptions caused by load-shedding, Vodacom in Mpumalanga invested R111 million on battery upgrades in 2021 and plans to spend an additional R58 million on backup energy solutions this year.

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Vodacom spending R600 million to expand coverage and capacity in Mpumalanga