MTN’s R624-million Eastern Cape upgrade — including 5G

MTN’s R624-million Eastern Cape upgrade — including 5G

MTN is pouring R624 million into network and tower upgrades in the Eastern Cape.

The investment forms part of its national modernisation project, which aims to expand its network reach into rural communities, improve 5G availability, and restore vandalised network infrastructure.

MTN South Africa’s general manager for the Eastern Cape, Maria Soares van Niekerk, said that over 68% of the operator’s plan had been completed nationally. The Eastern Cape was the next focus area.

MTN currently provides coverage to over 98% of the population in the Eastern Cape province.

MTN said the project would further increase network coverage, improve throughputs, and enhance customer experience.

“While we have invested in improving data speeds and connections in the short term, this plan is longer-term in nature, securing resilience, stability, quality and helping us expand our reach significantly,” said Soares van Niekerk.

MTN is planning to focus on 491 towers in the Eastern Cape as part of its network resilience and optimisation program, which will see various areas receive increased coverage and capacity.

“Network modernisation across 187 sites is already 68% complete and largely focused on East London, Mthatha and Queenstown sub-region,” the operator stated.

MTN currently has 94 live 5G sites in the province, with plans to add another 18 in 2022.

Backup battery upgrades

The operator added that the success of its modernisation plans also depended on resolving battery theft and tower vandalism.

“While MTN’s heightened security and community collaboration strategy has seen a 50% year-on-year reduction in battery theft, more needs to be done to secure and protect infrastructure,” it stated.

Therefore, 45% of sites in the Queenstown sub-region and 44% of sites in the Mthatha sub-region will get new batteries to improve MTN’s network resilience in the area in 2022.

The operator previously invested R650 million to replace 2,600 base station batteries in 2021.

“Our network towers are how we keep our customers connected, and we are investing to ensure their digital lives are disrupted as little as possible,” said

“However, it is still imperative that we all remain vigilant as the fight is a long way from over against the thieves and vandals who continue to operate.”

Soares van Niekerk urged community members to report any incident of vandalism and theft at network towers.

Concerned residents can call MTN on 083 123 7867 to report such incidents.

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