Vodacom announced on Monday that it had launched 5G technology in three cities across South Africa; Pretoria, Cape Town, and Johannesburg. The spectrum is Africa’s first live 5G network which supports both mobile and fixed wireless services and is currently available on 20 live 5G sites.
In a Press Release, Vodacom said that the 5G roll-out has come after receiving a temporary spectrum by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) including 1 x 50 MHz in the 3.5 GHz band, used to fast-track the 5G launch.
Vodacom expects a 40% surge in mobile network traffic and 250% increase in fixed traffic following deployment of 5G. The cost of 5G fixed internet will range from R899 (~KSh5,000) to R1799 (~KSh10,000) a month.
In December 2019, Vodacom and Liquid Telecom concluded managed network services and national roaming agreement for a national 5G network.
Vodacom began modernizing its network in 2018 in preparation for the deployment of 5G technology in South Africa as it anticipated growth in data and connectivity requirements.
Vodacom expects to be permanently assigned the 5G frequency bands through an auction later this year. Existing 4G tariffs for mobile and fixed will initially apply to Vodacom’s 5G service offering, with special 5G tariffs announced later.
Vodacom is currently offering the following 5G enabled devices;
- Smartphones: LG V50 5G smartphone
- Fixed Wireless Access Routers: Huawei 5G CPE PRO
5G improves significantly on 4G in three key areas; faster speeds, lower latency & better reliability, and more capacity.