As part of its ongoing efforts to expand its customer base across the continent of Africa by finding new and innovative ways to maintain customer connectivity through land, sky, and sea, the Vodacom Group has continued to grow its customer base, now totaling 196,2 million individuals. In the past, the Group has highlighted its various connectivity initiatives, which are designed to accelerate connectivity and foster digital inclusion in Africa.
“Through our diverse connectivity projects, we are leveraging the latest technological developments to bring improved connectivity to the continent,” says Dejan Kastelic, Chief Technology Officer at Vodacom Group. “Digital transformation and innovation are key to everything that we do as a company. These initiatives have the capabilities to help fast-track digitalisation in Africa and promote socio-economic upliftment.”
Vodacom Group is committed to delivering reliable and high-speed network coverage to the most remote areas on land through its Rural Coverage Acceleration programme. To date, the company has deployed close to 9,000 4G sites in its markets, including over 1,300 deep rural, low-cost sites in the DRC, Tanzania, and Mozambique. The programme is continuing to explore new ways to reduce the costs associated with the deployment and operation of rural network sites, with the aim of further expanding its reach and connecting more people for a brighter future.
“Connectivity plays a significant role in allowing those in remote areas access to transformative digital services, such as educational and financial opportunities. By increasing connectivity in underserved areas, we can help to empower communities and ensure they can participate meaningfully in the digital economy,” adds Kastelic.
Already digital financial services platforms are having a marked impact on the lives of their users. Vodacom Group, including Safaricom, has 73.5 million financial services customers across eight markets, and mobile money platforms, such as M-Pesa and VodaPay continue to change lives with users, many of whom had never been part of the formal financial system and now have access to financial services. There is no doubt that the launch of M-Pesa in Ethiopia, will promote digital and financial inclusion in the country.
In the digital world, Vodacom has made strides in scaling its cloud offering. Forming partnerships with different hyper scalers, the technology provider has achieved a 33% increase in applications that are cloud-native and established the Cloud Centre of Excellence with Amazon Web Services to improve digital skills on the continent, with the additional mandate of reducing delivery time and cost.
“Cloud is playing an integral role in the digitalisation of businesses across the globe. Combined with our involvement in the 2Africa cable project, and other strategic partnerships, we hope to continue our journey of being at the forefront of accelerating digitalisation across the continent and play our role in closing the digital divide through improved access to connectivity,” concludes Kastelic.