On Monday, Vodacom launched Africa’s first 5G network at 20 locations in three cities – Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria. More places in more cities will soon become part of this network.
Vodacom was able to turn on 5G after temporarily purchasing an additional broadband spectrum allocated by the Independent Communications Authority (Icasa) for the duration of the disaster.
Vodacom already said in February that it wants to offer 5G to its customers in 2020.
All devices that can handle 5G will have immediate access to the 5G network if they live near the 20 locations. The network supports both mobile and fixed line services.
Vodacom says mobile network traffic increased by 40% during the restriction and by 250% on fixed lines.
CEO Shameel Joosub says they are proud to bring “world-class networking technology to South Africa during this difficult and unmatched period. . . where we perform an essential service to keep the country connected ”.
The spectrum is expected to be auctioned off for a more permanent allocation later this year.
Existing 4G rates will apply for the time being, but 5G rates will be announced later.
Peak speed at 5G is compared to the speed of fiber optic internet. It’s going to be easier to download 4K and even 8K movies. Virtual reality applications will be able to be used and it will be easier to stream educational applications, sporting events and music concerts.