Vodacom beefs up network for festive season

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Vodacom CTO Andries Delport.
Vodacom CTO Andries Delport.

Vodacom says it has done a lot of work in the past six months to ensure its mobile networks are geared to handle the shift in high volumes of traffic over the coming festive season.

"Tourism experts are forecasting a bumper festive season this year and the mobile data traffic is likely to more than double in certain places as a result," says Andries Delport, CTO at Vodacom.

He says over the 2016 festive period, the telco's data volumes increased by 50% across the country.

"We've been ramping up investment on the network in recent months to make sure that we are ready for the high traffic in December and January. To this end, we deployed 100 brand new mobile base station sites to provide coverage and capacity at key areas along the coast, as well as some inland destinations," Delport adds.

"Additionally, we completed the deployment of a further 21 temporary base stations in key holiday destinations. We have also upgraded the data capacity on 1 701 3G base stations and 535 4G sites across key provinces.

"On a practical basis, this means that we'll be bringing faster data services and improved voice quality to tens of thousands of people when and where they need it," he says.

Vodacom invested R4 billion in its network during the six months ended 30 September 2017. Including the current period, capital expenditure across the group will total R37 billion over a three-year period, with R26 billion in SA alone.

The telco says the continued investment in infrastructure has resulted in local population coverage for 2G of 99.9%; 3G of 99.3%; and 4G of 76.7%.

As of the end of September 2017, Vodacom had 40 million active subscribers in SA.

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