South Africa gets first LTE network, care of poppa Vodacom

Mobile telecom Vodacom has gone and launched the first LTE services in sunny South Africa. LTE is roughly double the speed of 3G according to Vodacom, which is roughly 60Mbit/s. Theoretical speeds clock LTE  in at a very capable 300Mbit/s, but that’s a long way incoming.

It’s not all sunshine and smiles though. There’s specific LTE coverage which operates in Johannesburg only, for now. It’s an exceptionally limited area, and for users lucky enough to live in sections covered by this map, LTE coverage should be operating from today.

Plus, only a handful of devices, for now, support LTE/4G. We’ve listed the devices below:

Product Type Manufacturer Model
Modem Huawei E398
Modem ZTE K5006
Modem Huawei K5005
Modem Alcatel L100V
Router Huawei R210
Router Huawei B2000
Handset Samsung GS3 (LTE version coming Nov 2012)
Handset Samsung Note 2
Handset Nokia 920
Handset Nokia 820
Tablet Samsung 10.1

For those who want to activate LTE on their supported devices, they’ll need to either visit a Vodacom store or call the helpline on 082 111. It’s a free switch, so there’s no harm in getting 4G going on the four lone phones that support it. Interested in what Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub has to say? Read on.

“Vodacom was the first network in SA to test LTE more than two years ago, and since then we’ve been busy upgrading base stations and our fibre-optic transmission network in preparation for today. It’s great to claim another South African first for Vodacom with the launch of LTE services to the public, and it’s even more pleasing that we’ve done this ahead of many other advanced economies around the world. South Africa has joined an exclusive club with the fastest connectivity the world has to offer.”

Like wow man, an exclusive club. Lucky us. So if you have either of the products listed above, live in specific areas in Johannesburg, own a 64k/128k SIM card and want 4G speeds, get cracking ’cause Vodacom’s got the medicine for your LTE itch.

Steven Norris: grumpy curmudgeon


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