A Vodacom investment of R100-million ($73,137.60) has been injected into the KwaZulu-Natal region in South Africa and has led to the deployment of 84 brand new base station sites. This comes as part of the telco’s KwaZulu-Natal Region drive.
The new sites were rolled out in 9 District municipalities and 14 local municipalities including Jozini, uMhlabuyalingana, uMfolozi, uMlalazi, uMsinga, uMzumbe, uMgeni, Ray Nkonyeni, Mandeni, eNdumeni, eDumbe, Msunduzi, Newcastle and Nqutu.
This is part of Vodacom’s Rural Coverage Acceleration Programme, firmly aimed at expanding network coverage for people who live in deep rural and remote areas in South Africa. Vodacom hopes this investment and new infrastructure will augment the continued development of network infrastructure outside of urban areas in the region.
“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,” says Ishmael Mathinya, Executive Head for Operations, Vodacom KZN.
“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 claims that its commitment to accelerate network coverage for people who live in deep rural areas has resulted in a positive social impact. With the telco’s newly deployed 3G and 4G sites, young children have access to internet resources in schools, job-seekers can use the internet to search for jobs. For Vodacom subscribers, the telco has zero-rated both its e-school and jobs portal.
People who previously had to travel long distances to do banking are now able to bank through their devices from the comfort of their homes.
Vodacom is planning on deploying 29 new Deep Rural Base Stations fitted with standard technologies across the region to cover 14 more municipalities.
The telco hopes that the new investment will continue to bolster the local economy and its development.