Vodacom Launches Africa’s First Live 5G Mobile Network

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Vodacom has switched on Africa’s first live 5G mobile network in three cities – Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town – with further rollouts planned to other parts of South Africa.

This network will support both mobile and fixed wireless services and is currently available on twenty-live 5G sites, 18 of which are in Gauteng and 2 in Cape Town. With immediate effect, Vodacom customers with 5G enabled devices, and within a 5G coverage area, are now able to access one of the fastest and most sophisticated network connections in Africa.

To support this, Vodacom was recently assigned temporary spectrum by ICASA for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, including 1 x 50 MHz in the 3.5 GHz band, which has been used to fast-track its 5G launch.

It also makes Vodacom the first operator to activate temporary spectrum in the country. Vodacom and Liquid Telecom also concluded managed network services and national roaming agreements for a national 5G network in December 2019.


As a more efficient technology than its predecessors (such as 3G and 4G), the deployment of 5G will help Vodacom manage the 40% increase in mobile network traffic and the 250% increase in fixed traffic experienced during the COVID-19 lockdown.

“Vodacom’s 5G launch in South Africa comes at an important time as it will help us improve our network efficiency during the COVID-19 national state of disaster. During this difficult and unprecedented period, we are proud to offer world-class network technology to South Africa, and all of its associated benefits, as we provide an essential service to keep the country connected,” says Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO.

Vodacom is currently offering the following 5G enabled devices, which customers can use to experience the 5G network within the coverage area of the 20 live sites:

  • Smartphones: LG V50 5G smartphone
  • Fixed Wireless Access Routers: Huawei 5G CPE PRO

Customers can check if they are in a 5G coverage area by clicking here.

Edited by Jenna Delport
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