“The reason I came back form Spain and decided to launch [LTE] is because I felt we were falling behind,” Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub told attendees of a South African Communications Forum breakfast event on Monday (15 October 2012).
Vodacom launched a commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) offering at the MyBroadband conference on Wednesday, 10 October 2012.
However, the advertised coverage area for Vodacom’s LTE network only extends to a small portion of Johannesburg and Midrand.
Joosub re-iterated the call for high-demand spectrum to be made available, particularly in the lower frequency digital dividend band.
“That can give us the full power of LTE and let us cover the whole country,” Joosub said.
The digital dividend is a portion of frequency spectrum set to become available when South Africa completes its migration from analogue to digital terrestrial television broadcasting.
This requires that old analogue TV broadcasts be switched off, making way for other services to use the frequencies they once occupied.
Joosub concluded his presentation by saying that it is a travesty to starve companies of spectrum with the resources to make use of it.
“Let’s work together and let’s deliver 2020,” Joosub said, referring to the government’s plan to have broadband for all South Africans by 2020.