by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG – VODACOM will invest over R500 million (US$26,9 million) into network and power backup upgrades across Eastern Cape province during the 2023/2024 financial year.
This investment is to help the region expand connectivity in deep rural areas and townships that previously had no connectivity.
The bulk of the capital expenditure will be used to deploy new base stations sites, improve network capacity, perform power backup upgrades due to power outage and roll out 5G.
As a result, 106 new deep rural sites will be built in local municipalities such as Buffalo City, Matatiele, Mbashe, Mnquma, Nelson Mandela Bay, Ngqushwa, Ngquza Hill, Ntabankulu and Port St Johns, among others.
Long Term Evolution (LTE) capacity expansions will be performed in 396 sites and 17 new urban sites will be deployed across the province.
Vodacom Eastern Cape switched on live 5G mobile network in three major municipal districts in the Eastern Cape in 2021. It plans to roll out over 50 new 5G sites.
“We have always maintained that our mobile networks are our key differentiator, and as a result, we continue to invest more money to expand networks to give our customers exceptional service,” said Zakhele Jiyane, Managing Executive for Vodacom Eastern Cape region.
The executive believes it is important to invest in the next generation of communication technology to give customers access to networks that provide faster speeds and support the digital economy.
The accelerated investment in 5G in this financial year is in line with our commitment to connect the unconnected and ultimately help the region bridge the digital divide between the urban and rural areas.
“It can no longer be acceptable for people in rural dwellers to watch the internet revolution from the sidelines, they need to be part of it and reap the associated economic benefits,” Jiyane said.
Vodacom will be rolling out over 100 new deep rural sites to connect the unconnected
“We mean serious business when we say that rural and township areas should have the same network experience as the people who reside in urban areas are accustomed to,” Jiyane added.
– CAJ News