NetOne has started constructing a new base station in Mzola which will provide network coverage to 14 wards under Kusile Rural District Council in Lupane West.
The construction of the new booster, which is at slab level, started in 2017 but was delayed because contractors had challenges with the unstable loose soils which made it hard to lay a foundation, according to Lupane West Legislator, Martin Khumalo. He said:
The Mzola booster will cover a majority of people in Lupane West as 14 wards will be serviced by it.
Available boosters are along the highway and because of the terrain where the place has many valleys because of rivers like Tshangane.
There is no network and those boosters at Jotsholo can’t reach most areas.
We are happy with the project as that will connect many schools and institutions in the area while community members based in the diaspora will be able to communicate with the rest of the members.
Locals have been employed for the construction work.
Meanwhile, Chief Mabhikwa of Lupane said mobile coverage will enable farmers and small businesses to conduct electronic cash transactions and schoolchildren will benefit through e-learning. He said:
We thank Government for this booster as many areas had not been connected for a long time.
We have farmers, especially in Lusulu, which is the province’s breadbasket, who should be well updated but they fail to communicate because of a lack of network coverage.
So, with this booster we know learning will improve in schools and small businesses will also be empowered.
NetOne is constructing base stations (boosters) across the country in partnership with Huawei China.
The state-owned MNO received US$71 million to build 260 new base stations.
Under the project, base stations are being upgraded from 2G to 3G and 4G, as well as 5G in some cases.