Vodacom’s big Gauteng network plans

Vodacom added 892 new 2G, 3G, and Long Term Evolution (LTE) sites in the Gauteng area during the 2013/14 financial year and plans to add 975 more in the coming year.

This is according to Neville van Niekerk, managing executive for Vodacom’s Gauteng operation.

Van Niekerk said that their strategy to aggressively roll out LTE sites is supported by their data which shows that 90% of all the cellular traffic they carry is data.

Questioned about the apparent degradation of voice quality on the Vodacom network, Van Niekerk said that voice quality will improve with the roll-out of LTE.

He said that Vodacom is looking at “refarming” an additional 5 Megahertz (MHz) in the 1,800MHz band it currently uses for 3G.

Vodacom has already re-purposed two 5MHz portions of its 3G spectrum to roll out its LTE services.

Van Niekerk said that they are testing the refarming of the additional capacity around the Vodacom campus in Midrand.

Based on the outcome of the tests, Vodacom may execute its plan to refarm more widely, he said.

The table below summarises the number of Gauteng sites Vodacom has rolled out in 2013/14 and plans to roll out in 2014/15:

Sites 2013/2014 Planned 2014/15
2G 281 180
3G 471 240
LTE 140 555
Total added 892 975

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Vodacom’s big Gauteng network plans