Vodacom Group created “Africa’s first standards-based, commercial 5G service in Lesotho”, via its 3.5GHz spectrum to primarily deliver Fixed-Wireless Access Broadband services to two local enterprises. The operator stated that subscribers in Lesotho can now benefit from quicker broadband services deployment similar to fibre-like speeds. This move from Vodacom is to provide early access to this technology, so that businesses and government can work with the company to develop the digital transformation further in the Southern African country.
Vodacom has also deployed 5G technology in South Africa. It said, “this will exceed 1Gbps as new software versions and devices become available,” read a statement from the company, which added: “Until such time as 3.5GHz spectrum becomes available to Vodacom South Africa, this network will not be available to its customers.”
Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group Chief Executive Officer, said, “What we’ve accomplished in Lesotho is an example of what can be achieved in Africa, should the requisite spectrum also be made available. 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.”
Vodacom said it has deployed advanced 5G Active Antennae – also known as Massive MIMO providing enhanced spectral efficiency and coverage which allows a heightened network capacity.