Johannesburg – Cell network provider MTN says it is capacitating its network in high density areas and tourist hotspots in order to carry increased voice and data traffic over the festive season.
The areas that have been identified for network optimisation are major routes including the N1 which connects Cape Town and the Limpopo, the N3 which links Gauteng and Durban, the N12 which connects Johannesburg and the Garden Route, the N2 which links Cape Town and Durban, the N4 which joins Pretoria and Mozambique and the N7 which is the artery between Cape Town and Namibia.
Other areas that have been identified include coastal towns that are popular tourist destinations.
The company’s chief technology and information officer Giovanni Chiarelli said they have embarked on a multi-pronged network optimisation drive to improve network capacity in key nodes in order to ensure that customers enjoy seamless network experience.
“We will be working very closely with our vendor partners to monitor network performance around the clock in near real time, and senior management and regional staff will be on standby to attend to any technical issues that may arise,” Chiarelli said.
MTN will also keep track of its network performance on Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day when demand is expected to peak, Chiarelli said. “Where required, we will deploy mobile base stations in cases where demand exceeds capacity.”
MTN SA has embarked on a network modernisation programme, which includes upgrading of radio and transmission infrastructure to cater for current and future capacity requirements. As a result of these network upgrades, MTN’s LTE coverage has reached 95% of the population and its 4G network is also available on major routes across South Africa.
MTN executive for corporate affairs Jacqui O’Sullivan said the network upgrade seeks to enrich the experience of customers who will be travelling. “MTN believes that its customers deserve world-class network performance wherever they may be, and these upgrades enable us to share that winning feeling with millions of South Africans,” she said.
This holiday upgrade programme is based on analysis and trends from previous years at popular tourist sites such as Durban Beachfront, Ballito, Camps Bay, Knysna and Jeffrey’s Bay. The network upgrades are further informed by input from the regional teams as well as lessons learnt from the hosting of major events.