Vodacom Group says it has created Africa’s first standards-based, commercial 5G service in Lesotho using 3.5GHz spectrum, initially to deliver fixed-wireless broadband services to two enterprise customers.
It said the 5G service provides for quicker deployment of broadband services with fibre-like speeds and is seen as a game changer in the ever-changing telco industry.
Vodacom Group also announced that, in another first, it has deployed the same standards-based 5G technology in South Africa, with speeds in excess of 700 Mbps 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, the company added.
Vodacom Lesotho has been assigned spectrum in the 3.5GHz band, enabling the launch of a commercial 5G service. Vodacom South Africa has been granted a temporary spectrum license of 100MHz in the 3.5GHz band to showcase the same 5G network capabilities.
Vodacom has deployed 5G Active Antennae – also known as Massive MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) – to provide improved spectral efficiency and coverage, enabling increased network capacity.