MTN has announced that it will launch the Apple iPhone 12 this month and is the only network authorised to enable 5G on these devices this year.
Both Vodacom and MTN will offer the 5G-enabled version of the Apple iPhone 12 in South Africa from 18 December, but only MTN subscribers will enjoy 5G connectivity.
MTN said rigorous 5G testing with Apple allowed it to offer its subscribers the benefits of 5G through the new iPhone.
5G offers higher peak data speeds, low latency, increased reliability, and greater network capacity.
MTN currently offers 5G connectivity on four different spectral bands across more than 100 sites around the country.
MTN SA CTO Giovanni Chiarelli also announced the deployment of 5G at selected MTN stores in their 5G-enabled coverage areas.
“The success in the Apple tests confirms that MTN’s approach of building a strong foundation to grow and support its 5G ecosystem, has been time well-spent,” he said.
Vodacom spokesperson Byron Kennedy told MyBroadband all iPhone 12 devices purchased from Vodacom are 5G ready.
“5G connectivity will be enabled through a simple software update in due course,” he said.
Vodacom expects to expand its 5G coverage footprint significantly once they get access to new spectrum as part of ICASA’s auction process at the end of March.
Telkom has not launched a 5G network yet and it is currently not clear if Cell C will get access to MTN’s 5G network in future.
While Rain has launched a 5G network, it only supports fixed-broadband connections and not smartphones.