CAPE TOWN – At AfricaCom, Business Report met up with Nicholas Naidu, Vodacom's Managing Executive: Technology Strategy, Architecture & Innovation about the company's launch of 5G in Lesotho and future 5G ambitions across the continent.
Commenting on the Lesotho launch, Naidu confirms that the response of the 5G deployment has been positively received by consumers.
"The response has been extremely positive and the launch in Lesotho was a very proud moment for us as it showcased that we can be at the forefront of innovation. It was made possible by the government as they made the spectrum available that was needed to deploy 5G. In South Africa, we are still waiting for access on the spectrum to provide 5G networks and we are hoping that it will be soon."
When asked how the introduction of 5G would affect data costs, Naidu states that it should be low but in terms of smartphones, the cost of 5G smartphones would be pricey.
"A number of factors would need to be considered when discussing data, 5G will be efficient and cost-effective to carry large mounts for data but for this wee need spectrum. Other than spectrum, for customers to get the benefit of the network they would need a device to use 5G and 5G devices will be very expensive initially but the cost will reduce as major players in the industry build out the technology in a larger scales.
"Other technologies that can be a benefit for 5G other than phones are that for example, in SA here is a low-fixed line penetration and 5G could be seen as an alternative to provide people with fibre type of connection without having to invest in deploying fibre infrastructure that can be expensive to build and take a long time."
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE