Vodacom just launched a super-fast 5G service in Lesotho – because SA's spectrum policy is a mess
The service is offering speeds of slightly over 700 Mbps. That is seven times faster than high-end home connections from fibre providers such as Telkom and Vumatel in South Africa – and 35 times faster than the typical 4G cellphone service measured in SA.
The same technology is already installed in South Africa – but will not be available commercially any time soon, because the radio frequency spectrum needed is not available.
"Until such time as 3.5GHz spectrum becomes available to Vodacom South Africa, this network will not be available to its customers," the company said bluntly. Vodacom and other operators have been lobbying increasingly loudly and urgently for the release of the spectrum required for next-generation mobile services in South Africa, but to little avail.
|Vodacom just launched a super-fast 5G service in Lesotho – because SA's spectrum policy is a mess
South Africa hasn't managed to sort out how to allocate the radio frequency spectrum necessary for next-generation broadband cellphone services – so the first commercial 5G service in Africa just went live in the tiny mountain kingdom of Lesotho.