By Staff Writer
In late 2013, Vodacom embarked on a major project to accelerate investment in its network across South Africa. This programme, called Project Spring, has over the past year alone resulted in Vodacom increasing the number of 3G sites by more than 20% to almost 9 000, and more than doubling the number of LTE/4G sites to 2 600.
This focus on network investment is continuing into Vodacom’s 2015-2016 financial year, and will result in more than R200 million being spent in the Limpopo region to expand coverage and increase network capacity and speed.
“We’ll be bringing faster data services to tens of thousands of people who currently only have voice services and EDGE data services.” – Chris Lazarus, Managing Executive: Limpopo.
Chris Lazarus, Vodacom’s newly appointed Managing Executive for the Limpopo Region says: “I’m pleased to announce that more than R200 million has been earmarked for network investment in the Limpopo province in the current financial year. That’s an increase of more than 20% from last year, the bulk of which will be spent on adding new base stations and connecting sites with our own high-speed transmission.
“This year we’re planning to add 185 3G sites and more than 50 LTE/4G sites. On a practical basis, this means that we’ll be
bringing faster data services to tens of thousands of people who currently only have voice services and EDGE data services. On top of this, the upgrade will increase network capacity and provide improved voice quality and enhanced mobile data speeds in outlying areas such as Tzaneen, Grobelsdaal, Thabazimbi and Musina by the end of March 2016.”
In addition to the major increase in investment in base stations, Vodacom will also be ramping up investment in the core network.
“The base stations are what we call the radio access network, and its key role is to connect to people’s mobile devices. The core network is more like the brains at the centre of Vodacom that is responsible for routing traffic and making sure that everything functions smoothly,” said Lazarus.
To strengthen the core network, Vodacom will this year build a new Base Station Controller facility in Lephalale, resulting in improved voice and data services across the province. On top of this, Vodacom will also install fibre-optic transmission capacity in Mankweng, Thohoyandou, Lephalale and Grobelsdaal.
“Our goal isn’t just to be the best network in Limpopo. We’re putting hundreds of millions of Rands into network investment this year in a bid to make sure that we get as many people as possible connected no matter where they are. It’s important that we invest in the rural areas as well as the cities to make sure that nobody gets left behind,” says Lazarus.