Vodacom recently launched its 5G network in South Africa, offering high-speed connectivity in selected areas.
The company also launched fixed-wireless 5G packages which offer high-speed, fibre-like Internet connections for your home.
This places the mobile operator in direct competition with Rain, which also offers 5G home broadband packages, as well as fixed-LTE products from various ISPs and mobile operators.
It is important to note that Vodacom’s 5G packages differ from Rain’s in that they are capped and only available on 24-month or 36-month contracts.
Rain’s 5G products offer uncapped usage and are available on a month-to-month basis.
5G offers a significant speed increase over traditional LTE connections, with Vodacom stating that its products should initially deliver download speeds of 150Mbps – 200Mbps.
Rain also offers high-speed Internet through its 5G packages, with download speeds reaching over 200Mbps.
Both Rain and Vodacom’s 5G products have relatively low upload speeds, however, delivering speeds of 15Mbps and 20Mbps, respectively.
Despite the similar upload speeds, these 5G products are much faster than existing fixed-LTE broadband, which tops out at around 100Mbps downloads.
To determine whether 5G would serve as a good upgrade for fixed-LTE customers, we compared Vodacom and Rain’s 5G products with fixed-LTE products from Telkom and MTN.
MTN and Telkom LTE
Telkom offers fixed-LTE through its SmartBroadband Wireless product, with data caps ranging from 5GB to 220GB.
SmartBroadband Wireless packages also include an equivalent allocation of night-time data.
According to its website, Telkom’s SmartBroadband Wireless packages can support download speeds of up to 90Mbps and upload speed of up to 25Mbps.
MTN offers fixed-LTE packages on its network through a number of ISPs, one of which is Supersonic – an ISP which is owned by MTN.
Supersonic offers a selection of fixed-LTE Home Broadband packages with data allocations ranging from 60GB to 400GB.
Supersonic includes an equivalent allocation of night-time data in its fixed-LTE packages – however, unlike Telkom, the ISP includes this amount in the total data allocation of the product.
For example, a Telkom 60GB fixed-LTE package would offer 60GB of anytime data and 60GB of night-time data, while a Supersonic 60GB fixed-LTE package would offer 30GB of anytime data and 30GB of night-time data.
Supersonic states on its website that its fixed-LTE packages offer download speeds of 70Mbps and upload speeds of 25Mbps.
5G vs Fixed-LTE
A comparison between Vodacom and Rain’s 5G products and the fixed-LTE packages offered by Supersonic and Telkom is below.
The Vodacom and Rain 5G packages below are bundled with a Huawei 5G router, while the Supersonic packages come with an LTE router.
The Telkom fixed-LTE prices below are for SIM-only deals.
|Telkom LTE 5GB||90Mbps||25Mbps||5GB + 5GB||R59|
|Telkom LTE 10GB||90Mbps||25Mbps||10GB + 10GB||R99|
|Telkom LTE 20GB||90Mbps||25Mbps||20GB + 20GB||R199|
|Supersonic LTE 60GB||70Mbps||25Mbps||30GB + 30GB||R249|
|Telkom LTE 40GB||90Mbps||25Mbps||40GB + 40GB||R299|
|Supersonic LTE 120GB||70Mbps||25Mbps||60GB + 60GB||R399|
|Telkom LTE 60GB||90Mbps||25Mbps||60GB + 60GB||R399|
|Telkom LTE 80GB||90Mbps||25Mbps||80GB + 80GB||R499|
|Supersonic LTE 200GB||70Mbps||25Mbps||100GB + 100GB||R599|
|Telkom LTE 120GB||90Mbps||25Mbps||120GB + 120GB||R699|
|Rain 5G Standard||30Mbps||20Mbps||Uncapped||R699|
|Supersonic LTE 300GB||70Mbps||25Mbps||150GB + 150GB||R799|
|Telkom LTE 220GB||90Mbps||25Mbps||220GB + 220GB||R999|
|Supersonic LTE 400GB||70Mbps||25Mbps||200GB + 200GB||R999|
|Rain 5G Premium||200Mbps||20Mbps||Uncapped||R999|
|Vodacom 5G 100GB||150-200Mbps||15Mbps||100GB + 100GB||R1,199 x24|
|Vodacom 5G 200GB||150-200Mbps||15Mbps||200GB + 200GB||R1,199 x36|
|Vodacom 5G 300GB||150-200Mbps||15Mbps||300GB + 300GB||R1,299 x36|
|Vodacom 5G 200GB||150-200Mbps||15Mbps||200GB + 200GB||R1,499 x24|
|Vodacom 5G 400GB||150-200Mbps||15Mbps||400GB + 400GB||R1,499 x36|
|Vodacom 5G 300GB||150-200Mbps||15Mbps||300GB + 300GB||R1,599 x24|
|Vodacom 5G 400GB||150-200Mbps||15Mbps||400GB + 400GB||R1,799 x24|