Vodacom launched its 5G network in several locations across KwaZulu-Natal on Monday.
Coverage is currently available on 156 live 5G sites across the KwaZulu-Natal province and supports both mobile and fixed wireless access services.
As part of the first phase of the rollout, 5G has been deployed in the following areas:
- Richards Bay
“Vodacom customers with 5G enabled devices, and within a 5G coverage area, are now able to access the new 5G network in KwaZulu-Natal,” the operator stated.
“Critically, the latest mobile networking technology will ultimately help the region bridge the digital divide between the urban and rural areas of the province by extending access to affordable mobile broadband, especially as an alternative to fibre connectivity in underserviced township areas,” Vodacom added.
To launch the 5G network in KwaZulu Natal, Vodacom used the temporary spectrum assigned by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), including 1x 50MHz in the 3.5 GHz, 2x 10MHz and 700MHz.
Vodacom has decided to use the 700 MHz band for wide-scale mobile 5G coverage and is supplementing network capacity with 3.5 GHz where required, the company said.
The operator was the first to launch a live 5G mobile network in South Africa in May 2020. The network supports both mobile and fixed wireless services and is currently available in Gauteng and in Cape Town.
Plans to accelerate 5G rollout
According to Vodacom South Africa CEO Balesh Sharma, the operator now has the widest 5G network coverage in KwaZulu-Natal and it expects to expand its national 5G footprint even further.
“As a more efficient technology than its predecessors, 5G is designed to more efficiently meet the rapidly increasing connectivity requirements of modern society. The widespread rollout of 5G will support Government’s 4IR objectives in future, and will facilitate the creation of an entirely new technologically enabled world,” Sharma stated.
Vodacom added it will accelerate 5G network rollout after additional 5G spectrum is auctioned at the end of March 2021.
The map below shows the specific locations in eThekwini which have Vodacom 5G coverage. The other areas were not yet updated with coverage zones by the time of publication.