Vodacom Central Region has become the first network provider to switch on first live 5G mobile network in Kimberley, in the Northern Cape. File picture
Vodacom Central Region has become the first network provider to switch on first live 5G mobile network in Kimberley, in the Northern Cape. File picture

Vodacom switches on 5G network in Northern Cape

By Yasmine Jacobs Time of article published Sep 3, 2021

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Vodacom Central Region has become the first network provider to switch on the first live 5G mobile network in Kimberley, in the Northern Cape.

Vodacom customers in the Northern Cape who have 5G-enabled devices and are within a 5G coverage area are now able to access the new 5G network.

The 5G network supports both mobile and fixed wireless access services.

In May 2020, Vodacom switched on South Africa’s first live 5G mobile network in three cities – Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town.

Vodacom used the temporary spectrum assigned by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa – specifically 1x50 MHz in the 3.5 GHz band – to launch the 5G network in Northern Cape.

“The team and I are delighted to become the first network provider to roll out the fastest 5G network in Northern Cape province,” Evah Mthimunye, managing executive for Vodacom Central Region, said.

“Critically, the latest mobile networking technology will ultimately help the region bridge the digital divide between the urban and rural areas of the province by extending access to affordable mobile broadband, especially as an alternative to fibre connectivity in underserviced township areas.”

Short for the “fifth generation” wireless mobile network, 5G is the newest iteration of the global mobile networking standard. It promises higher download and upload speeds, lower latency and greater capacity, speed and increased coverage.

5G is around 10 times faster than 4G and is designed to work at average speeds of 150-200Mbps. Peak speeds can reach above 1Gbps. This means people will be able to download a full 4K film in around three minutes.

Latency is the time it takes for a device connected to an online service to respond to your inputs or instructions, otherwise known as lag. Lower latency means this time lag is significantly reduced.

Huge capacity means that it can handle lots of people and services accessing the network at the same time – even in densely populated areas.

With 5G network, you can stream high 4k and 8K video quality movies and enjoy gaming with impressive speeds and no interruptions.

Given lockdown and social distancing, the network also makes remote education and remote health care much easier.

Remote surgeries can also be performed in near real time using robotic arms and drones can be co-operate in emergency situations.

5G can also enable smart city infrastructure more efficiently and its faster speeds will allow IoT (internet of things) devices, including those with health-care and industry applications, to communicate and share data faster than ever.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

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