Vodacom embarks on network upgrade
WITH 20 years of operations in Lesotho under its belt, Vodacom Lesotho is the largest telecommunications services provider in the country, having amassed a customer base of over 1.3 million.
VCL’s network is supported by 285 base stations erected around the country all with capacity for 3G internet access, while 60 base stations were also introduced with the faster 4G internet connection.
Through this infrastructure, VCL is able to deliver its products such as voice, data and SMS services to its subscribers. Other service offerings like the mobile money platform M-Pesa, which has over 800 000 registered users, have also been added to the mix.
However, VCL’s customer base growth has also brought with it a challenge of network congestion. As a result, subscribers sometimes experience connection failures and dropped calls especially during peak usage times such as month-ends and weekends.
In an interview with the Lesotho Times this week, VCL Managing Executive: Commercial Johnny Dos Santos said the company was aware of the challenge and working on resolving it.
He said the telecommunications giant was upgrading its ageing infrastructure which was struggling to accommodate the growing customer base.
“We do acknowledge congestion is a challenge for our subscribers at times. But it is something that we are working hard to address,” said Mr Dos Santos.
“Over the past three years, we have been investing heavily towards improving our infrastructure to ensure it accommodates our growing customer base.
“Our infrastructure has to be in line with the growth of our customer base to ensure that no congestion is experienced, and our upgrading efforts are an ongoing exercise.”
He said VCL’s presence in the country for the past two decades had changed the lives of many people for the better.
“Our investment in Lesotho has been based primarily on connecting Basotho. We believe that when more people get connected to voice and data communication services, we can create opportunities that have the potential to empower and change people’s lives,” Mr Dos Santos said.
“We consider the market that we serve and try to create possibilities for them. VCL is a driver of innovation that creates opportunities for Basotho.”
Apart from its various product offerings, VCL is also deeply involved in various philanthropic activities through the Vodacom Lesotho Foundation. The foundation’s initiatives primarily focus on education, health and economic empowerment among other areas.
Last year, the Vodacom Lesotho Foundation launched its business incubation hub, Vodacom Innovation Park (VIP), which is meant to mentor up-and-coming entrepreneurs.
In June this year, three youth-run enterprises emerged as the winners of VIP after undergoing rigorous 12-week training sessions.