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Vodacom breaks 2Gbps mobile speed barrier

The network operator says the speed is a preview of how Vodacom’s recently acquired spectrum will enable true 5G capabilities

Vodacom’s Midrand campus was the setting this week of South African’s first 2.4 Gbps data speed throughput on a live site via a commercial smartphone.

The trial, conducted through the commercial base stations that serve Vodacom’s campus, reached a speed approximately 100 times faster than the average fibre-to-the-home connection.

“5G technology can unlock incredible fibre-like experiences for users on the go, or where fibre installations aren’t feasible,” says Beverly Ngwenya, Vodacom South Africa technology director. “Most notably, this is a preview of how Vodacom’s recently acquired spectrum will enable true 5G capabilities and raise the bar on network performance.”

Vodacom South Africa recently acquired a total of 110 MHz high demand spectrum as part of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s auction and assignment process. Vodacom paid R5.38-billion for a spectrum portfolio that includes 2 x 10 MHz in the 700 band MHz, 1 x 80 MHz in the 2600 MHz band and 1 x 10 MHz in the 3500 MHz band.

With the combination of 5G technology and the correct spectrum, says Vodacom, it can significantly increase the performance and capacity of its network. Ultra-high speed will enable a number of Fourth Industrial Revolution  use cases, while consumers will receive better-quality services.

“Vodacom is a future-ready business that offers multiple fixed and mobile connectivity solutions to our customers to meet their specific needs,” says Ngwenya. “A fibre-like service is a complementary addition to our existing portfolio of services, giving customers more choice in how they connect for a quality network experience.”

Vodacom was the first network operator to launch 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G mobile services in South Africa, as well as being the first network operator to launch a commercial 5G service on the continent in Lesotho in 2018.

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