Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub said they are using the new LTE-A network being built by Multisource.
Multisource acquired iBurst’s parent company, Wireless Business Solutions (WBS), at the end of 2015, and told subscribers it will switch existing iBurst customers to LTE-Advanced technology.
The LTE-A network will consist of WBS towers and infrastructure, in combination with a lease agreement with Vodacom to share its network infrastructure.
However, the launch date of the network has not been finalised.
Speaking at Vodacom’s annual results presentation, Joosub said the WBS network is live and carrying traffic.
Joosub said the network gives Vodacom room to manoeuvre while the government’s National Integrated ICT Policy White Paper is being discussed.
More importantly, it gives Vodacom access to additional network capacity while South Africa’s migration to digital TV fails to take off, and high-demand 4G spectrum remains unassigned.
“It’s a strategic partnership for us,” said Joosub.
The industry needs to make a plan in the interim, and Multisource’s wholesale network forms part of that plan, he said.
Joosub said other operators can make similar agreements with Multisource and predicts they will when “they feel the crunch”.