Vodacom has launched Africa’s first live 5G mobile network in three of South Africa’s major cities. These include Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria. More sites will be rolled out in other parts of the country soon.

As the fifth generation mobile network, 5G is the new global wireless standard. It offers faster speeds, more capacity, lower latency and is more reliable than 4G networks.

It offers an average speed of between 150Mbps-200Mbps, with peak speeds reaching above 1Gbps.

“This means you’ll be able to download a full HD film in around three minutes,” said Vodacom.

The rollout of 5G networks will allow Vodacom to greater manage the 40% increase in mobile network traffic and 250% increase in fixed traffic as a result of the lockdown period, which caused a massive spike in online activity.

“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,” said Vodacom Chief Executive Shameel Joosub.

“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.”

The network supports mobile and fixed-wireless services. It is currently available in 20 live 5G sites, two of which are in Cape Town, in Century City and surrounding areas. Customers with 5G enabled devices that are within a 5G coverage area will immediately have access to this fast network connection.

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