Vodacom said on Thursday that is has achieved 80% population coverage with 4G/LTE and claimed to be the first operator in South Africa to reach this target.
Its 3G and 2G population coverage is 99.78% and 99.97% respectively, it said.
The 4G target has been reached after the mobile operator introduced an accelerated rural coverage programme last year. Areas where it has recently added 4G coverage include Sterkfontein in Limpopo, Brandfort in the Free State and Sundays River Valley in the Eastern Cape, it said.
Chief technology officer Andries Delport said Vodacom has invested R39.7bn in its network in South Africa in the past five years. The company again reiterated that it needs more spectrum, especially below 1GHz, to continue expanding its mobile broadband coverage.
Recent studies have shown that rival MTN has made significant strides in improving the reach and quality of its network. These include a study by P3 in January that said MTN had the best network in terms of both performance and quality.
In August 2017, OpenSignal found that MTN and Vodacom tied for first place in terms of mobile broadband coverage in South Africa. — (c) 2018 NewsCentral Media