First commercial LTE call in South Africa

Vodacom surprised delegates at the 2012 MyBroadband Conference when it launched the country’s first commercial LTE service. This launch also included the first commercial LTE call in South Africa.

Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub announced today (10 October 2012) that Vodacom’s LTE service had been officially switched on and was open for business. The service is initially available in Johannesburg, with other cities to follow in the near future.

“With the launch of Vodacom’s commercial LTE service, a whole new world of connected services becomes possible. Next generation HD video and voice services will come into their own, and low latency online activities like real-time gaming via mobile becomes possible,” said Joosub.

During proceedings Vodacom data head Jannie van Zyl made the first ever commercial LTE call to 8ta head Amith Maharaj using a Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE mobile phone.

Vodacom is currently using re-farmed 1,800Mhz spectrum for its LTE network, but Joosub called on ICASA to provide them with the needed spectrum to boost LTE service delivery.

“We’ll be rolling out LTE services using existing spectrum, but to unlock the full potential of this technology and transform connectivity in South Africa, we still need additional spectrum to be released by ICASA,” said Joosub.

Jannie van Zyl launching LTE
Jannie van Zyl launching LTE

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First commercial LTE call in South Africa