Vodacom KwaZulu-Natal deploys 84 new base stations
Vodacom KwaZulu-Natal has deployed 84 new base station sites following an investment of R100 million (US$7.3 million) over three financial periods as part of its rural coverage acceleration programme.
The new sites were rolled out to deliver 3G and 4G services across nine district municipalities and 14 local municipalities including Jozini, uMhlabuyalingana, uMfolozi, uMlalazi, uMsinga, uMzumbe, uMgeni, Ray Nkonyeni, Mandeni, eNdumeni, eDumbe, Msunduzi, Newcastle and Nqutu.
Ishmael Mathinya, executive head for operations in Vodacom KwaZulu-Natal, said: “In a bid to ensure the widest and first-class network that is accessible to all South Africans, we made a deliberate decision to invest in the region and are making great progress so that we leave no one behind. The R100m investment in deep rural areas has enabled us to further expand our 3G and 4G network coverage, increase data speed, and help reduce our dropped-call rate, ensuring that we continue to deliver on our ‘leading network’ promise.
"Critically, with these new base station sites, we have connected previously unconnected areas enabling scores of people to use innovative digital services in their daily lives that will empower themselves in a digital age.”
Vodacom reported that its scheme is already having positive social impacts, boosting digital access for school students and businesses. Further, Vodacom’s e-School and jobs portals are both zero-rated for Vodacom subscribers. Those who previously had to travel long distances to do banking are now doing this on their devices from the comfort of their homes.
In this financial year (FY21/22), the region is planning to deploy 29 new deep rural base stations with all standard technologies across KZN region to cover 14 municipalities. The municipalities that will obtain a greater share in this financial year include uPhongolo, Umtshezi, Okhahlamba, uMZumbe, Ray Nkonyeni, uMhlabuyalinga, Umuziwabantu, Alfred Duma, Dannhauser, uMzimkhulu, uMsinga, uMhlathuze. The areas include Nyavini, Sitezi, Gansa, Bobweni, KwaNzimakwe, KwaMlamula, Manyampisi, KwaMasondo, Shemula Gata, Phakamisa and Sitilo.