Cellular operators MTN and Vodacom have finally launched services in the underground stations of the Gautrain public transport network that links Johannesburg, Sandton, Pretoria and OR Tambo International airport.
In separate statements, the companies confirmed that their customers will now be able to make calls and browse the Web while on the train.
MTN said that at the launch on 3 July, its network will be live at Park Station, Sandton and Rosebank stations. The other stations are covered by existing infrastructure. It will also “blanket” other parts of the Gautrain network, said chief technology officer Eben Albertyn.
“MTN’s network deployment on Gautrain comes in the backdrop of a partnership that Vodacom signed with the department of roads and transport, the Gautrain Management Agency, Bombela Concession Company and the Strategic Partners Group to implement a communication solution to ensure the stations no longer have coverage dead zones,” MTN said.
Vodacom said its solution is made up of distributed antenna systems located throughout the three stations. Each of these systems is connected via fibre-optic cable to network equipment located in Rosebank. 2G, 3G and 4G services are offered.
“This is the first phase of the process. Our next task is to work on ensuring that we have a seamless service throughout the Gautrain route,” said Vodacom chief technology officer Andries Delport in a statement.
“That means not dropping a call when you go into a tunnel. We’re currently in talks with our partners to roll this out.”
Cell C did not respond to a request for comment. — © 2015 NewsCentral Media