South Africa has received Africa’s 5G network commissioned by Vodacom. The network has been launched three major cities in the country comprising of Pretoria, Johannesburg, and CapeTown. The rollout will cover twenty lives sites, the company plans to further roll out the network across the country.
This launch has been made possible by the emergency measures taken by the South African government during the coronavirus pandemic. Which has given Vodacom temporary access 50 MHz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz spectrum. Vodacom has been preparing its network for 5G since 2018.
During the international crisis, Vodacom has reported a 40% increase in mobile network traffic, as well as a 250% increase in fixed traffic. The company hopes that the launch of 5G network will help alleviate similar traffic burdens in the future.
“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 CEO Shameel Joosub. “This is largely due to the allocation of temporary spectrum by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) which has already mitigated the network congestion we have experienced since the start of the lockdown period.”
The pandemic has created room for quick approvals for some of the stalled major projects in parts of Africa. Kenya is among the beneficiaries of such approvals. In March, the government of Kenya approved Google’s
loon project that had stalled for seven
years now. The service was approved to enable 4G network coverage in response to COVID-19 as people shifted to work from home.