Vodacom, with LG and Nokia, trials its commercial 5G data network at Durban July

vodacom durban july 2019 5g trial

Vodacom continued its love for launching 5G-related tech at the Durban July, one of South Africa’s biggest horseracing events.

The telecoms company, partnering with infrastructure provider Nokia and smartphone maker LG, showcased “Africa’s first live, 5G data session on a commercially ready 5G mobile phone and network.”

The demo was performed using the LG V50 ThinQ 5G smartphone, and Nokia’s AirScale 5G radio network tech.

Vodacom was granted a temporary spectrum license by ICASA of 100 MHz in the C-band spectrum range (3.5 GHz range) for the purposes of the demonstration at the Vodacom Durban July,” the company added in a release.

“This spectrum band is well suited to providing good 5G coverage, unlike higher frequency bands such as mmWave (26 GHz and above) which have poor indoor penetration characteristics.”

Vodacom’s CTO Andries Delport however noted that the company’s still “awaiting the allocation of 5G spectrum to launch the technology in South Africa.”

At 2018’s Durban July, Vodacom used 5G technology to live stream events from the horse race in 4K.

What about the phone?

According to LG South Africa, there’s currently no news on when the V50 ThinQ will launch in South Africa. But, considering the trial was performed using the phone, its debut in the country looks increasinigly likely. The likes of Huawei and Samsung could also launch 5G smartphones in South Africa this year.

Feature image: supplied, Vodacom

Andy Walker
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