Vodacom uses emergency spectrum to launch 5G mobile network in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town

On the 6th of April 2020 ICASA made the following International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) spectrum bands available for temporary assignment: 700MHz, 800MHz, 2300MHz, 2600MHz and 3500MHz bands. https://www.icasa.org.za/news/2020/emergency-release-of-spectrum-to-meet-the-spike-in-broadband-services-demand-due-to-covid-19

Monday, 4 May 2020: Vodacom Press Release

Vodacom 5G

Vodacom has switched on Africa’s first live 5G mobile network in three cities – Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town – with further rollouts planned to other parts of the country. This network will support both mobile and fixed wireless services and is currently available on twenty live 5G sites, 18 of which are in Gauteng and 2 in Cape Town. With immediate effect, Vodacom customers with 5G enabled devices, and within a 5G coverage area, are now able to access one of the fastest and most sophisticated network connections in Africa.

Vodacom was recently assigned temporary spectrum by ICASA for the duration of the national state of disaster, including 1 x 50 MHz in the 3.5 GHz band, which has been used to fast-track our 5G launch. It also makes Vodacom the first operator to activate temporary spectrum in South Africa. Vodacom and Liquid Telecom also concluded managed network services and national roaming agreements for a national 5G network in December 2019.

As a more efficient technology than its predecessors (such as 3G and 4G), the deployment of 5G will help Vodacom manage the 40% increase in mobile network traffic and the 250% increase in fixed traffic experienced during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO, says: 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. During this difficult and unprecedented period, we are proud to offer world class network technology to South Africa, and all of its associated benefits, as we provide an essential service to keep the country connected. This is largely due to the allocation of temporary spectrum by ICASA which has already mitigated the network congestion we have experienced since the start of the lockdown period.”

To read the full Vodacom Press Release https://www.vodacom.com/news-article.php?articleID=7485

Customers can sign up for a 5G fixed internet plan, which starts at R899 a month for 100GB anytime data and 100GB “night owl” data (between midnight and 05:00), and that includes a Nokia router. The most expensive plan costs R1,799 a month for 400GB anytime and 400GB “night owl” data, with a Huawei router.

For now, mobile users can get Vodacom’s 5G service if they have a LG V50 ThinQ, which will cost R13,499, or R699 a month over 24 months.

https://www.businessinsider.co.za/vodacom-mobile-operator-5g-network-temporary-spectrum-covid-19-2020-5

More on the topic:

Telecompaper https://www.telecompaper.com/news/vodacom-launches-first-live-5g-network-in-africa–1337121

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