South Africa’s biggest mobile communication company, Vodacom, has invested at least R100 million in its rural coverage acceleration programme, a report says.
According to Business Insider, this has brought mobile network coverage to remote regions in the country, with 82 cell phone towers deployed in KwaZulu-Natal alone since 2018.
At least R100 million has already been invested in 84 new base station sites, with the company targeting 95% 4G coverage in the province by the end of 2022, the report said.
The programme is aimed at “connecting villages which have never experienced the various economic and societal benefits of cell phone connectivity”, the report quoted Vodacom as saying.
Vodacom said on its website in 2018 that it aimed to connect over 200 new rural network sites across the country’s nine provinces.
“The sites are located predominantly in Kwa-Zulu Natal, the Eastern Cape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga… the villages were selected through an extensive prioritisation process. Vodacom has focused on areas of no or low coverage where the network is most needed.
“In making its selection, Vodacom also looked at rural areas with places of interest that would benefit from better connectivity; including hospitals, schools, police stations and transportation hubs,” said Vodacom.
Vodacom Chief Technology Officer, Andries Delport, added: “Vodacom’s rural coverage acceleration programme has seen us make significant progress in connecting villages which have never experienced the various economic and societal benefits of cellphone connectivity.
“As Africa’s leading mobile network operator, Vodacom remains focused on providing the widest and best rural connectivity in South Africa. We look forward to connecting the new sites in the year ahead.”