New 5G smartphones coming to South Africa

MTN and Vodacom have confirmed that they will bring more 5G smartphones to their customers in August.

Both mobile networks currently offer three 5G smartphones – the Huawei P40, the Huawei P40 Pro, and the LG Velvet.

Alongside these smartphones, both mobile networks offer multiple 5G router options.

Vodacom launched the country’s first live 5G mobile network in May 2020 in Gauteng and Cape Town.

Spectrum included as part of its temporary spectrum allocation from ICASA was used to fast track the launch of this network.

However, an agreement with Liquid Telecom means that it does not envision any issues with its network if this temporary spectrum is taken back by ICASA before permanent 5G spectrum is allocated.

MTN launched its South African 5G service on 30 June 2020, and offers coverage in Gauteng, Western Cape, and Free State.

MTN is refarming some of its 4G spectrum to allow it to run 4G and 5G at the same time, in the same band.

MyBroadband asked both mobile networks if they are planning to offer more 5G-enabled smartphones in South Africa.


Vodacom

Vodacom spokesperson Byron Kennedy said that consumer interest in its 5G product has been high.

Uptake has been in line with its internal expectations, Kennedy said.

“We expect that this trend will continue as 5G coverage widens, device prices continue to drop and customers are offered greater choice in the range of 5G devices,” said Kennedy.

Kennedy said that it will be expanding its 5G device portfolio to offer three new models – including a “new leading flagship device”.

The 5G devices currently on offer through Vodacom are:

  • LG Velvet
  • Huawei P40
  • Huawei P40 Pro
  • Huawei 5G CPE Pro
  • Nokia FastMile 5G Gateway 1 CPE

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MTN

MTN executive for corporate affairs Jacqui O’Sullivan told MyBroadband that the COVID-19 pandemic has put financial pressure on consumers.

O’Sullivan anticipates that this may impact consumer spend on smartphones.

“Our approach is to offer compelling 5G price plans and value-added services which will lead to a greater 5G smartphone adoption by our customers,” said O’Sullivan.

“The best example of this is our 5G unlimited price plan.”

O’Sullivan confirmed that it will add more 5G smartphones to its sales channels next month.

“It is important to note that the current 5G smartphones are high-end devices, however, we anticipate that the device eco-system will evolve to offer more affordable 5G smartphones so that most South Africans can experience and benefit from 5G technology,” said O’Sullivan.

The 5G devices currently on offer through MTN are:

  • LG Velvet
  • Huawei P40
  • Huawei P40 Pro
  • Huawei CPE Pro 2
  • ZTE MC801A CPE

Now read: Rain’s “unlimited 24/7” 5G adverts are misleading – ARB

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New 5G smartphones coming to South Africa