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Vodacom Group

Vodacom Eastern Cape network ready to keep customers connected this festive season

Wednesday, 13 December 2023

GQEBERHA - The Eastern Cape Tourism Summer Campaign is in full swing, welcoming visitors to the province's unspoilt beaches, nature reserves, adventure activities, local hospitality and other attractions. With the popularity of these hotspots at this time of year, Vodacom Eastern Cape is ensuring it can meet the demands of high network traffic in the region this festive season.

"For the past few months, Vodacom Eastern Cape has made efforts to provide a consistent network experience during this festive period so that customers can have peace of mind that they can stay connected when in the region. This includes investing in network upgrades, rolling out new sites and enhancing backup power solutions to overcome any potential downtime and congestion issues in key areas in the province," says Zakhele Jiyane, Managing Executive for Vodacom Eastern Cape.

Recently six new deep rural base station sites were built at Emhlanga, Mampondomiseni, Mbulu, Komani, Tafalofefe and Taleni, in addition to 14 new sites in Buffalo City Rural, East London, George, Gqeberha, Groot-Brakrivier, Kidds Beach, Mdantsane, and Motherwell. Vodacom Eastern Cape has continued with rolling out 5G across the region, including at Gcuwa (Butterworth) and two university sites: Walter Sisulu and Fort Hare. These new 4G and 5G sites will enhance network coverage and capacity both inland and on the coast in the province.

"We have also made LTE upgrades at 87 sites and targeted 24 towns for LTE throughput improvements. LTE provides increased speed and capacity to manage data traffic, which went up by 40% in the region this financial year and is expected to rise even more during this festive period. To relieve network congestion at the busy thoroughfare of Mthatha, we have deployed high-capacity transmission links (10 G trunks) as part of core upgrades. All of these investments amount to superior network service for customers, whether they are on the road, by the sea or at home," adds Jiyane.

With loadshedding persisting, Vodacom Eastern Cape is improving back-up power at 15 sites to ensure network stability. This month, 19 stolen batteries have been replaced and 100 more are scheduled to be installed in the coming weeks.

"Loadshedding, theft and vandalism are some of the biggest threats to uninterrupted connectivity for customers in the region. We are doing our utmost to implement back-up power solutions and while it may be holidays for some, criminals continue to operate at base station sites. Our plea during this busy time is for communities to be on guard and report any incidents to Vodacom or the SAPS," says Jiyane.

Vodacom Eastern Cape will invest over R500 million into the network during the 2023/2024 financial year. This will help the region expand connectivity in deep rural areas and townships, and enable many local communities to participate in the digital economy for the first time.

"Our ongoing investment into deploying new base station sites, improving network capacity, performing power backup upgrades due to power outages, and rolling out 5G is allowing our customers to stay connected to family, friends and the things they love most at this time of the year. More importantly, it is helping to accelerate digital inclusion throughout the region so that no one is left behind," concludes Jiyane.

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Vodacom Eastern Cape network ready to keep customers connected this festive season | Vodacom Group