Over the week, the Vodacom Group, which has its headquarters in Johannesburg became the first Operator in Africa to start a standards-based, commercial 5G network. This is great news, but the surprise lies in the fact that this new initiative will not be launched in South Africa which is its biggest market but rather, in Lesotho.
The new service makes use of a 3.5GHz band spectrum and will be used for two business customers as test.
The Econet group also added that they have kickstarted a similar standards-based 5G technology in South Africa, this one boasts of more than 700Mbit/s in speed with a latency of a less than 10ms and is predicted to increase as newer versions are released and more devices become available. Although, it was declared that this network will not be accessible to customers till 3.5GHz spectrum becomes available to Vodacom South Africa.
“The immediate benefit of 5G technology for Vodacom subscribers in Lesotho includes the quicker deployment of broadband services with fibre-like speeds,” the group CEO, Shameel Joosub said in the statement.
He continued “Vodacom will be able to make 5G services available to its customers in South Africa once requisite spectrum is assigned. Global technological advancements are evolving at a rapid pace and South Africa can’t afford to be left behind, particularly when we look at some of the potential use cases for 5G to support critical sectors of our society such as healthcare and education.”
This is great news as the advantages of the 3.5GHz band not only includes speed over long distances, but also adequate indoor penetration characteristics and can be utilized in smart factories, autonomous vehicles and augmented realities.
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