Vodacom Group Launches Africa’s First Commercial 5G FWA Service

Vodacom Group Launches Africa’s First Commercial 5G FWA Service Image Credit: Vodacom

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. 

Shameel Joosub, Group CEO, Vodacom Group
Vodacom prides itself on being a market leader and we are extremely pleased to be first to deliver 5G services to customers in Africa. What we’ve accomplished in Lesotho is an example of what can be achieved in Africa, should the requisite spectrum also be made available. 

Ray is a news editor at The Fast Mode, bringing with him more than 10 years of experience in the wireless industry.

For tips and feedback, email Ray at ray.sharma(at)thefastmode.com, or reach him on LinkedIn @raysharma10, Facebook @1RaySharma

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