Vodacom Group claims that it has created Africa’s first standards-based, commercial 5G service using 3.5GHz spectrum to initially deliver Fixed-Wireless Access broadband services to two enterprise customers in Lesotho.
Vodacom Lesotho has been assigned spectrum in the 3.5GHz band, enabling the launch of a commercial 5G service.
Vodacom Group said it has deployed the same standards-based pilot 5G network in South Africa, with speeds in excess of 700 Mbps and latencies of less than 10 milliseconds. The Operator has been granted a temporary spectrum license of 100MHz in the 3.5GHz band to showcase the same standards-based 5G network capabilities in South Africa.
The 3.5GHz spectrum band is considered optimal for 5G network deployments due to its suitability for throughput and capacity and it is not dependent on the digital migration in South Africa. In addition, the 3.5GHz band has adequate indoor penetration characteristics and will lend itself in future to the facilitation of a broad range of consumer and business applications such as smart factories, augmented reality and autonomous vehicles.