MTN SA claims network sites in its central region, which includes the Free State, Northern Cape and parts of the North West, now surpass 98% network availability daily.
This, according to the mobile operator, marks an improvement from 92% network availability, after addressing more than 1 400 sites through the network modernisation programme.
The initiative is in line with making sure customers remain connected as rolling blackouts continue.
South African telcos have, in the past, lamented the adverse effects of load-shedding, which they say impact network quality. The power outages also hamper internet connectivity.
According to MTN, improvements to its network led to improved throughput and availability, reduced drop call rates and increased data volumes.
Throughput is the amount of data moved successfully from one place to another in a given period.
MTN indicates that network availability in Mafikeng in the North West, for example, improved from 75% to 98% during the various bouts of load-shedding.
Machawe Dlamini, acting regional manager for central region at MTN SA, says throughput improved to over 14.09Mbps from a base of 10.80Mbps between January and November last year, while the drop call rate reduced to 0.2%.
“We have modernised over 50% of our sites in the region and plan to add further sites this year, including in rural areas. This will enhance capacity and drive quality.”
Dlamini indicates more sites are on track to be completed in the first quarter of this year, while plans include adding more generators to increase the autonomy in areas struggling with extended power outages.
The JSE-listed telco plans to add more solar panels on site where generators can’t be deployed and all sites without LTE are planned to be upgraded to LTE in 2024.
“Load-shedding, theft and damage at sites remain challenging. We encourage citizens to report any crime relating to network infrastructure vandalism and theft to law enforcement authorises,” says Dlamini.