Upgrading a cellular site from 3G to 4G technology is not expensive, Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub told attendees of the 2016 MyBroadband Conference.
Joosub said it costs roughly R140,000 to upgrade a 3G celllphone tower to 4G technology.
While there are financial considerations when rolling out the technology, Joosub said the major factor holding them back is unavailability of spectrum.
Joosub said that after 10 years of back-and-forth, South Africa is still no nearer to freeing up spectrum in the 700-800MHz bands that broadcasters are sitting on.
He is referring to the migration from analogue to digital television broadcasting in South Africa, which remains stalled.
Joosub also warned that the government’s current spectrum plan – giving all unassigned spectrum to a single wholesale open access provider – has not been successfully implemented anywhere in the world.