Africa’s first commercial 5G network goes lives in Lesotho

vodacom 5g network lesotho

Vodacom’s first commercial 5G network is not in South Africa, but its next door neighbour Lesotho.

The company on Saturday announced that the service will initially be used to provide fixed broadband internet to two business clients in the mountainous nation.

It’s also the continent’s first 5G network, the telecoms giant claims.

“The immediate benefit of 5G technology for Vodacom subscribers in Lesotho includes the quickerdeployment of broadband services with fibre-like speeds,” the company notes in a press release.

The company hopes that the introduction of  the technology will speed up “digital transformation” in the country.

South Africans have to wait a little longer for 5G.

Although Vodacom claims that it has already set up a similar network in the country, achieving download speeds of 700Mbps in the process, but the lack of spectrum in the 3.5GHz band hinders the rollout.

Lesotho has no such problems at present.

“What we’ve accomplished in Lesotho is an example of what can be achieved in Africa, should requisite spectrum also be made available,” noted Shameel Joosub, Vodacom’s CEO.

“Vodacom will be able to make 5G services available to its customers in South Africa once requisite spectrum is assigned.”

The company notes that it has been granted just 100MHz within the 3.5GHz band to showcase its 5G network, but it will require a larger portion to begin a nationwide rollout.

Speeds in excess of 1Gbps are expected to be achieved as 5G technology matures, the company concluded.

Feature image: supplied, Vodacom

Andy Walker, former editor


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