Vodacom, South Africa’s second-largest mobile network operator has launched Africa’s first mobile 5G network in 3 major cities – Johannesburg, Cape Town and Pretoria.

“Vodacom customers with 5G-enabled devices, and within a 5G coverage area, are now able to access one of the fastest and most sophisticated network connections in Africa,” the company said.

This network supports both mobile and fixed-wireless services and is currently available on 20 live 5G sites – 18 of which are in Gauteng, and 2 in Cape Town.

These 20 sites are grouped into the following six clusters:

  • Midrand cluster
  • Sandton cluster
  • Menlyn cluster
  • Centurion cluster
  • Waterfall/Sunninghill cluster
  • Century City cluster

The deployment of 5G will help Vodacom manage the 40% increase in mobile network traffic and the 250% increase in fixed traffic experienced during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Vodacom said 5G offers many benefits over 4G, which include faster speeds, lower latency, better reliability, and more network capacity.

  • Faster speeds – In comparison to 4G, peak speeds on 5G will increase significantly. 5G will enable fibre-like speeds using the mobile network.
  • Lower latency – In comparison to 4G where latencies are typically between 20-30 milliseconds, 5G can support latencies as low as 1 millisecond.
  • More network capacity – 5G uses spectrum in a much more efficient manner than 4G technology and is able to fit more data into the same amount of spectrum.

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