Vodacom launches commercial 5G service

Vodacom Group has launched Africa’s first commercial 5G service, the company announced.

It stated it had created “Africa’s first standards-based, commercial 5G service”, which is being used in Lesotho.

The 5G service uses 3.5GHz spectrum to deliver fixed-wireless access to two enterprise customers in the country.

“The immediate benefit of 5G technology for Vodacom subscribers in Lesotho includes the quicker deployment of broadband services with fibre-like speeds,” said Vodacom.

Vodacom also announced it has deployed the same standards-based 5G technology in South Africa, with “speeds in excess of 700Mbps and latencies of less than 10 milliseconds”.

“This will exceed 1Gbps as new software versions and devices become available. Until such time as 3.5GHz spectrum becomes available to Vodacom South Africa, this network will not be available to its customers,” said Vodacom.

Shameel Joosub, Vodacom CEO, said that if the requisite spectrum was made available in South Africa, the 5G services could be rolled out in the country.

The company added that Vodacom South Africa has been granted a temporary spectrum licence of 100MHz in the 3.5GHz band to showcase the standards-based 5G network capabilities.

Read: Vodacom to connect over 200 new rural network sites

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Vodacom launches commercial 5G service