Imran Khan, Vodacom’s Managing Executive for the Limpopo Region, announced at a media briefing in the city last Thursday that the company has invested more than R270 million in capital expenditure in the province over the past two years.
The expenditure was targeted at expanding its 3G and 4G footprint, deploying new sites in rural and urban areas and performing site upgrades to the core of the network. According to Khan, this investment will help to further improve network capacity, expand rural coverage, enhance data speeds, reduce dropped-call rates and ensure that Vodacom continues to deliver on its ‘Best network’ promise to its customers in Limpopo.
“Our goal isn’t just to be the best network in the Limpopo province. We have invested millions of Rand into the network this year in a bid to ensure that we get as many people as possible connected no matter where they are. To achieve this, it’s important that we invest in the rural and township areas as well as the cities to make sure that nobody gets left behind. I’m pleased to announce that just over R150 million will be invested to ramp up the network in the Limpopo region. Last year alone, we deployed 169 3G sites, 31 new network sites and 30 low cost sites to increase coverage in the deep rural areas of Waterberg, Vhembe, Mopani and Sekhukhune districts,” Khan said.
Khan also announced that Vodacom Limpopo intends to deploy 224 new base stations during the coming year of which 93 will be in deep rural communities, that never had signal coverage before and the remainder (131) will be in towns and townships to improve the user experience and increase data speed. The upgrades will enable youth in rural areas to use the internet to apply for jobs for the first time, assist scholars to learn over the internet, empower business people to run their businesses more efficiently and these communities will be able to call emergency services when the need arise. “Most of the rural communities will have access to the ICT world for the first time,” he said.
Story and photos: BARRY VILJOEN