MTN South Africa has apologised to its customers for service disruptions in recent weeks, blaming a range of factors for problems on its network.
“MTN would like to convey its sincerest apology to customers that may have been affected by service disruptions in the last two weeks,” the mobile operator said in a statement.
Chief technology officer Eben Albertyn said the company has been “significantly reengineering its network in certain parts of the country to ensure it is of an acceptable standard and is capable of satisfying the needs of customers”.
“The adjustments were many and they included reviewing how we can optimally utilise our existing spectrum, which entailed reconfiguring its allocation.”
In addition to this, MTN conducted a technology refresh of parts of its network. This resulted in intermittent service disruptions in and around metropolitan areas.
“Load shedding also exacerbated our disruptions,” Albertyn said. “It must be noted that in the event of a power failure, MTN base stations are powered by batteries or generators. The majority of the network sites use batteries for backup. These batteries have a limited backup time, and recharging them takes time.”
Furthermore, several hundred sites have been vandalised and batteries stolen in recent months. “Where possible, MTN has been deploying these batteries to all sites to alleviate the impact of power outages. However, MTN has not been able to cover 100% of its sites yet,” he said.
“We are working tirelessly to ensure there is minimal impact on services and are planning for a speedy completion. We are aware that the demand will spike over the festive season and we remain confident that these interventions will bolster our capacity to meet expected traffic.”
The company also apologised to former Nashua Mobile customers who were migrated to MTN. Some customers lost connectivity on 25 November. “These customers were inadvertently disconnected.” — © 2014 NewsCentral Media