Vodacom launches LTE in South Africa

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Vodacom today launched their LTE offering for South Africa at the MyBroadband Conference 2012.The announcement was made by Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub, who said that the service will initially be available in Johannesburg before spreading to the rest of the country.

JOosub said “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.”

LTE, more commonly known as 4G, will potentially double the speed of existing mobile connections, with increase speeds and lower latencies permitting a “…more stable user experience with stutter-free video and almost instantaneous music and picture downloads.”

Requirements for 4G LTE on Vodacom are relatively simple. Users will need a 64k or 128k SIM card and they can either dial 111 or visit a Vodacom store in order to have the data connection activated (once they have consulted the coverage map, of course).

The full rollout of LTE is still somewhat dependent on more spectrum being released by ICASA, while the current implementation is going to be using existing resources.

“With the launch of Vodacom’s commercial LTE service, a whole new world of connected services becomes possible. Next generation HD video and voice services will come into their own, real-time gaming via mobile becomes possible, and the SMME and Enterprise markets will benefit from the almost immediate access to files and information that this technology brings.”

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