2016 was a good year for Vodacom in terms of network performance, with the company achieving record speeds and growing its 4G coverage. Vodacom CTO Andries Delport said they registered historical broadband speeds in 2016, showcasing the capabilities and resilience of its local network. Delport said several tests showed what can be achieved if they were given additional spectrum.
Prominent milestones for Vodacom in 2016 were:
- On 6 March, Vodacom speed tests on the LTE-Advanced network in Cape Town produced a download speed of 141Mbps and an upload speed of 21Mbps.
- On 18 May, Vodacom achieved mobile speeds in excess of 1Gbps by aggregating both licensed and unlicensed bands for indoor coverage in its laboratory. Breaking 1Gbps showed what can be achieved by combining adequate spectrum with the latest technology.
- On 6 September, Vodacom extended its 4G coverage along most Gautrain routes to include 4G+ in underground tunnels – a first in South Africa.
4G and 4G+ coverage was available on routes to Gautrain’s Rosebank, Sandton, Marlboro, and Midrand stations – with speeds in excess of 100Mbps.
- Vodacom launched its Dropped Call Compensation campaign on 17 August. This compensates customers whenever they experience a dropped call on the network.
“We’re still the most-loved network provider in SA and we provide the widest coverage, best quality, and fastest network,” said Delport.
“This has been proven by our lead of 16 points over our nearest competitor as measured through the Net Promoter Score.” In South Africa, Vodacom’s 2G network now covers 99.9% of the country’s population – wider than any other service provider. “Our 3G network covers around 99.2% and 4G coverage 68.7% of the population, up from 46.8% a year ago,” said Delport.
Vodacom to continue its network investment in 2017
“Our price transformation strategy has yielded positive results in driving down data rates and providing customers with greater value.”
“We will intensify this strategy in 2017, providing our customers with better value offerings and driving down data and voice rates through our bundle strategy.”
The basis of Vodacom’s competitive advantage lies in the superiority of its network and the company will continue to invest in the network, said Delport.