TechInAfrica – Vodacom Group Limited has made another investment after last year’s 9.6 billion rand according to Andries Delport, the acting Chief Technology Officer, during the media briefing. The mobile operator company is known to cover the rural networking in South Africa, and for the past 6 years has grown over 16 million users in regard to its 4G/LTE services. Owned by Britain’s Vodafone, the company will invest $589 million rand (more than 9 billion rand) this year for network enhancements in rural areas, as confirmed by Delport on Thursday.
Vodacom will focus the investment on the rural coverage acceleration program by switching and updating its base stations and digital services to give both the place and program a more modernized look. The recent vandalism and robbery cases have affected the stations, in which 500 from its 14,000 towers received such treatment.
Delport further elaborates on the users’ statistics, saying that 97% of South Africans have access to the 3G network while 75% of the population enjoying access of 4G services in these rural areas, despite the lack of available spectrum. Vodacom is witnessing substantial growth in its advancement through the network coverage improvement for both the rural and even farther regions within South Africa.
“With rural land making up 98.6% of the total land area in South Africa, Vodacom has prioritized connectivity in these regions, facilitating access to the digital resources which many of us take for granted in cities,” Delport said. “This year alone the investment is about 250 million rand to 300 million that we’ll invest just in batteries.”
The robbery indeed is an alarming case, with monthly 1,500-2,00 batteries stolen. Sometimes, aside from batteries, solar, and panels, even generators are often targeted, leading to blackouts.
Source: cnbcafrica.com, weetracker.com