Liquid Telecom has released a statement in which it announced plans to launch a wholesale 5G network in South Africa in early 2020.
“Liquid Telecom is to launch the first 5G wholesale roaming service in South Africa,’ said the company.
“Available from early 2020 in all major South African cities, this latest fifth-generation of mobile Internet connectivity will enable wholesale operators to create innovative, ultra-fast, and scalable digital services for their customers.”
Strive Masiyiwa, Chairman of Liquid Telecom, said mobile network operators and ISPs will have open access to the 5G mobile network.
Liquid Telecom will use its 3.5GHz spectrum to build the 5G network, he added.
Liquid Telecom is one of several companies in South Africa that has spectrum suitable for 5G and previously said it has big plans to use this spectrum.
Competing with Rain
Rain, which has a commercial 5G offering available to consumers in certain parts of the country, was the first big 5G mover in the local space.
It plans to expand its network substantially this year, CEO Willem Roos previously told MyBroadband – allowing it to offer improved coverage and capacity.
The goal of this expansion is to compete directly with fibre operators in SA.
“Our initial 5G network of 250 sites already ‘passes’ 500,000 households. That’s almost an equal size to the two largest fibre network operators in the country,” said Rain.
Rain aims to launch 450 more sites in 2020, taking its total number of 5G sites to 700.