The Strategic Partners Group (SPG) – as empowerment partner of the Bombela Concession Company which built and operates the Gautrain – has created an environment that will enable Gautrain commuters to use their mobile phones and other mobile devices to make phone calls and connect to the Internet underground.This will be rolled out at the Sandton, Park and Rosebank stations.

Making these facilities available represents the first phase of a much broader engineering project which will see the installation of additional technical infrastructure that will extend across the entire Gautrain reserve.

SPG’s executive chairman Mzolisi Diliza says that conclusion of phase one of the project, which was undertaken in partnership with the Gautrain Management Agency, the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport, the Bombela Concession Company, Vodacom and MTN, is an important addition to the services and benefits that the world-class Gautrain extends to the thousands of South Africans and tourists who use it every day as a transport amenity of choice.

“Completion of this initial part of the assignment, which needed to be executed in a highly complex technical and operational environment, is a notable milestone for SPG,” he says. “We continue to engage with our partners to expedite the strategic and operational imperatives that are needed to bring finalisation to an exercise that ultimately will give all Gautrain commuters, wherever they find themselves on the system, seamless connectivity to the outside world.”

Enabling the environment, MTN has installed a high-speed network at the three stations. The other stations will be covered by existing infrastructure.

MTN will be further deploying its network to blanket other parts of the Gautrain network.

Eben Albertyn, chief technical officer of MTN South Africa, says the profile of Gautrain commuters are customers who always seek and demand seamless connectivity on the go.

“MTN is pleased to offer this much-needed connectivity for its customers using the Gautrain, the provision of this connectivity to Gautrain will ensure that our customers stay connected while in transit without the inconvenience of only catching up when they disembark,” says Albertyn.