Vodacom has launched its 5G network in three major cities in South Africa
5G has finally arrived on the African continent.
Vodacom has today announced the launch of its 5G mobile network in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Towen. The launch encompasses twenty live sites, with a further rollout planned to cover all of South Africa.
This launch is, in part, made possible by the emergency measures taken by the South African government during the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen Vodacom temporarily gain access 50 MHz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz spectrum.
During the international crisis, Vodacom has reported a 40% increase in mobile network traffic, as well as a 250% increase in fixed traffic. It is hoped that the launch of 5G will help to alleviate this traffic burden.
“Vodacom’s 5G launch in South Africa comes at an important time as it will help us improve our network efficiency during the Covid-19 national state of disaster,” said CEO Shameel Joosub. “This is largely due to the allocation of temporary spectrum by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) which has already mitigated the network congestion we have experienced since the start of the lockdown period.”
Vodacom has been preparing its network for 5G since 2018, in preparation for the allocation of spectrum, but South Africa’s 5G spectrum auction is not expected until the end of this year.
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