Vodacom pledged to invest ZAR1 billion (US$58.2 million) into its mobile network in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal to accelerate connectivity in the deep rural areas.
In a statement, Vodacom KwaZulu-Natal managing director detailed the investment will include the deployment of more sites and network upgrades to increase access to reliable connectivity.
From the cash pile ZAR444 million will be invested into RAN-related projects, ZAR135 million was allocated to regional network capacity/upgrades, ZAR85 million will be spent on improving network resilience, optimisation and operations, and ZAR17.5 million will go to core network infrastructure upgrades and project.
Vodacom is planning to expand 4G capacity to 704 base station sites in the province in this financial year. Khan revealed Vodacom has a 99.5% 3G coverage rate and 97.6% with 4G. The company is rolling out 27 new urban sites and 43 deep rural sites.
“This significant investment into the region’s mobile network drives our goal of building an inclusive, digital society,” said Khan.
The company launched 5G services in 2020 and has over 200 5G sites with another 61 to be added this financial year.
“We are hoping to increase this 5G site count even more as the spectrum implementation process continues. At the moment, metro and high-demand areas in the region are benefiting from 5G, but our aim is to expand the coverage reach and capacity, so that all sectors of the economy, from agriculture to small businesses, can widely utilise new technologies, such as the Internet of Things, to boost sustainable productivity,” said Khan.