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First live 5G network in Africa launched

5G
(Image credit: Google)

Vodacom has announced that its 5G network is finally live in South Africa. 

This first for the African continent comes at a time where internet usage has surged as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic. With many workers operating from home, the demand is that much greater.

The rollout included major cities like Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town, with more locations expected to be added.

“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 available in 20 sites. 

These sites are grouped into the following six clusters:

Customers can check on the Vodacom website if they are in a coverage area.

“As a more efficient technology than its predecessors (such as 3G and 4G), 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,” the company said

CEO Shameel Joosub confirmed the current 4G tariffs will apply to the 5G offering for now, but special 5G tariffs will be announced soon.