Vodacom South Africa is gearing up for a substantial investment of over R1 billion in its network infrastructure in KwaZulu-Natal during this financial year. This strategic move aims to bolster network capacity and expand access to connectivity, with a particular focus on rural areas.

Key Highlights:

- *Investment Allocation:* Out of the R1 billion, R700 million will be channeled into projects focusing on radio access network, network capacity, and upgrades, while an additional R173 million will be dedicated to enhancing core network infrastructure

- *Modernization and Expansion:* Vodacom plans to modernize 429 base station sites and extend LTE capacity to 774 sites across the province this year. This initiative is expected to significantly improve network quality and reliability.

- *Digital Inclusion:* The telecom giant is committed to fostering an inclusive digital society. By deploying more network sites and conducting upgrades, they aim to provide a superior network experience to customers and extend the benefits of digitalization to all communities in the region.

- *4G and 5G Expansion:* Vodacom KwaZulu-Natal boasts a 95.8% population coverage for 4G. Furthermore, they are in the process of rolling out 23 new urban sites and 129 deep rural sites across the region this financial year. Additionally, the company has around 200 5G sites, with plans to activate another 122 within the year.

- *Addressing Load-Shedding:* Load-shedding remains a challenge in the region, impacting network services. To counter this, Vodacom is investing R235 million in energy projects, including the procurement of generators and enhancing base station site power standby time to a minimum of four hours. These measures will bolster network capacity and availability during load-shedding periods.

- *Performance Metrics:* Due to increased investment in network services, Vodacom KwaZulu-Natal reports an impressively low call drop rate of 0.34% and a high call setup success rate of 99.4%.

In a region where the cost of communication is a critical concern for customers, Vodacom's substantial investment promises to enhance access, quality, and reliability of telecom services. It is a significant step towards bridging the digital divide and ensuring that even underserved areas benefit from the advantages of modern connectivity.

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