We will launch LTE in 2012: Vodacom CEO

Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub said that they are planning to launch Long Term Evolution (LTE) services before the end of 2012.

Speaking in an interview with Aki Anastasiou, Joosub said that he is confident that Vodacom will launch LTE services in “some cities” by the end of the year, and grow coverage to other areas after this initial launch.

Joosub added that while it is possible to launch LTE in a limited capacity with their current spectrum, more spectrum is needed to roll out LTE faster and provide better service levels. Joosub pointed out that additional 800MHz, 1,800MHz, or 2,600Mhz spectrum is what they are looking for.

The Vodacom CEO said that 75% of their network is already LTE ready, and that they are currently rolling out fibre to their base stations to ensure they have the needed transmission capacity to support LTE.

This announcement from Joosub comes one day after MTN officially announced that they plan to launch commercial LTE services in Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Durban before the end of 2012.

MTN SA’s chief technology officer Kanagaratnam Lambotharan said that they expect to have between 400 and 500 Long Term Evolution (LTE) sites live by the end of 2012.

Lambotharan explained at the time that they had “re-farmed” 10MHz of their 1,800MHz spectrum to roll out the pilot LTE network.

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We will launch LTE in 2012: Vodacom CEO