In continued efforts to invest more in our infrastructure and to get our network to be even more robust for the deployment of new technology like 4G LTE, and for improved quality of service, the following is a synopsis of Mascom recent investments in this key area.
We have made great strides in the deployment of own transmission backbone and Metropolitan fibre rings. Deployment of own transmission backbone includes fiber route between Tlokweng Border all the way to Ramokgwebana Border. This is intended to serve the villages and towns along the road. We have also employed metro fibre to cover Gaborone and Francistown. The fibre is linked to our towers and sites to improve customer experience, network quality and prepare our network for new technology. We have deployed 700 kilometres of fiber at an estimated value of P150 Million.
Rural data connectivity remains a priority area and in 2014 alone we provided coverage to 20 new rural sites which we covered with 2G. These include Samochima, Kakao/Kauxwi, Seronga, Grootlagte, Toromoja, Letsholathebe, Makaleng, New Xanagas, Bokspits, Seriname, Mahetlwe, Gakutlo, Moshaneng, Mokhomma, Sese, Maokane, Lekgolobotlho and Rakhuna.
By the end of January, we had expanded our 3G coverage to 15 more villages including Mogorosi, Thabala, Sefophe, Mosolotshane, Tumasera, Romokgonami, Mookane, Takatokane, Ditshegwana, Letlhakeng, Thebephatswa, Modipane, Mmankgodi, Manyana and Good Hope. To date any village with over 5000 people is covered by 3G and we are now targeting more of rural Botswana with 3G.
By the end March we would have extended 3G coverage to a further 23 villages including Borolong, Hukuntsi, Kang, Kazungula, Kopong, Lentsweletau, Lerala, Mabalane, Malolwane, Mathangwane, Matshelagabedi, Moiyabana, Molapowabojang, Nshakashokwe, Otse, Pitsane, Rakops, Sebina, Sefhare, Shakawe, Shashe-Mooke, Mmathubudukwane and Tsamaya.
Further, for the more populated areas we continue to address coverage, capacity and quality challenges by commissioning additional sites. Since January 2015 additional sites were commissioned with both 2G and 3G as follows; Jwaneng Unit 5 and Unit 7, Ledumadumane, Block 9 (Mogoditshane), Boseja (Mochudi), Morwa and Ramotswa Siga.
We continue to face a challenge of suitable land, especially in the more populated areas, to put additional sites and improve coverage, however, we remain relentless in our efforts to improve coverage as we head towards 4G LTE.