5G Mobile Network Launched In South Africa By Vodacom

Mobile operator Vodacom Group has switched on Africa’s premier live 5G mobile network in three cities in South Africa, with further rollouts intended in other parts of the country.

Vodacom was recently offered temporary additional spectrum by South Africa’s telecoms regulator for the duration of a national state of disaster to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, which has been used to speed up its 5G launch, the company said in a statement.

Chief Executive Shameel Joosub said in February Vodacom expected to offer 5G mobile services in South Africa this year by using a network being built by another African operator, Liquid Telecom.

According to Vodacom the deployment of 5G will help Vodacom manage the 40% rise in mobile network traffic and the 250% rise in fixed traffic experienced during the five-week-long coronavirus lockdown, it said.

The lockdown has resulted in an upsurge in online activity, from video conferencing to streaming movies.

The three cities include Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town, Vodacom said, adding the 5G network would support both mobile and fixed wireless services.

“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,” Joosub emphasized.

“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,” reported Reuters.

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