LTE is gaining ground internationally with 248 operators either in trials, technology testing and studies, or committing to commercial LTE network deployments.
The GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) said that they expect over 100 LTE network launches globally by end of 2012.
However, South African consumers may have to wait until 2013 to experience the benefits of LTE.
While large parts of Vodacom’s network are LTE ready, the lack of suitable spectrum is holding back LTE rollouts from both Vodacom and MTN.
Uys added that re-farming spectrum for an LTE network is also not a realistic solution as it may harm the voice network.
Uys explained that the relatively high cost of LTE devices (between $200 and $300 each) is another stumbling block which can only be overcome by mass uptake and scale.
All is not lost, however. Vodacom is planning to significantly grow its broadband coverage and increase the speed of its HSPA+ network in future.
Uys said that the latest generation HSPA+ technologies come close to LTE in terms of spectral efficiency and performance.