Vodacom invests R1 billion in the Western Cape Vodacom invested over R1 billion in the last financial year to enable more communities in both the Western Cape’s urban and rural areas to reap the benefits of connectivity. This forms part of the company’s commitment to building a digitally inclusive society, where increased access to online essential services and information, employment and education platforms, digital marketplaces and much more can help to promote socio-economic empowerment and close the digital divide. “Our purpose-led goal at Vodacom is to ensure digital inclusion for all. Our network coverage has increased and our capacity has been upgraded at existing base stations sites in the Western Cape. This means that 3G/4G population coverage is now 99.5% & 97.6%, respectively. This increase in access to connectivity has the potential to transform lives, especially in previously underserved areas in which existing inequalities continue to widen,” says Carol Hall, Vodacom Western Cape Managing Executive. This investment will include the construction of 38 new base station sites that are 3G and/4G enabled, 16 in towns and six in rural areas, as well as LTE capacity upgrades for more than 75% of provincial base stations. Vodacom also constructed 50 5G base stations in the region. These sites are now ready for next-generation technology rollout. Vandalism and theft of cable and batteries at base station stations continue to be a problem. Five to seven vandals are common at base stations in the Western Cape each week. This can affect network availability, especially during load-shedding, when backup batteries and generators are required to minimize service disruption. Vodacom Western Cape, which has upgraded 240 bases station sites with anti-theft infrastructure as well as new batteries, relocated mobile generators in outlying areas for fast-track restoration in case of power loss. “Through ongoing evaluations on our network performance and capacity upgrade projects, we are able to manage increased loads and network faults faster, achieving more reliable restoration times. Vodacom Western Cape is the region with the highest availability, lowest call drop rate, and lowest congestion across all technologies. This compares to other regions. This forms part of Vodacom’s commitment to delivering the best network performance to customers throughout South Africa,” adds Hall.