MTN South Africa hosted a media event in Soweto on Thursday to demonstrate to journalists the severe impact that criminal vandalism is having on its base stations.
In this interview, conducted at the site of an MTN base station in Mofolo South in Soweto, the company’s chief technology and information officer, Michele Gamberini, tells TechCentral editor Duncan McLeod about the attacks taking place on its high sites — and how it’s fighting back.
MTN disclosed that it will spend at least R1.5-billion this year at it moves to secure its network against both severe load shedding and vandalism.
Gamberini said MTN will use the R1.5-billion — which could be increased further, if needed — to building resilience in its network, protecting its infrastructure from vandals and deploying thousands of additional batteries to ensure its sites remain operational during extended power outages.
Gamberini said that in the past year there have been more than 400 unique attacks on its tower infrastructure in the Eastern Cape alone. Some sites have been hit as many as 15 times, he said.
In this episode of the TechCentral Show, Gamberini unpacks the impact of the vandalism and power cuts on its ability to service its clients. He also talks about how the company is working with law enforcement in an effort to address the problem, which is affecting all industry players.
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