During MyBroadband’s annual conference, Vodacom CEO Shameel Jousub surprised delegates by announcing that the mobile service provider has officially launched Long-Term Evolution (LTE) in South Africa.
“LTE is live today. It is officially launched in South Africa right now,” Jousub said when asked about LTE by Rudolf Muller.
To the cheers of many, Jousub gave further detail on the current availability and the plans for the future. “There are 70 sites that are live immediately, and LTE devices will be in all the stores by the weekend. We are planning to have 150 sites live by the end of the month, and that will grow every day as we add more sites. At the end of December there will be about 500 live sites.”
To prove that Vodacom has indeed launched LTE in South Africa, a team from the mobile service provider performed a live demonstration of the speed capabilities.
Being able to provide South Africa with its first LTE network, Jousub said that it came after years of planning. “This comes after years of preparation, and making sure that the network is ready. The big thing going forward is the need for spectrum, but LTE is live now in SA”, he said.
Jousub confirmed that the data rates will be the same, but there may be a small additional tariff should customers want to move to a different package.
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor