Mobile operator Vodacom is testing high-speed 4G connectivity that promises speeds more than four times those of the network’s LTE speeds today. In a recent test using carrier aggregation technology and a mobile handset, the operator achieved download speeds of 270Mbit/s.
What does that mean for end users? It means the ability to download content faster than ever before and would make HD video streaming effortless – assuming of course you could afford the requisite data.
Andries Delport, Vodacom’s chief technology officer, says the test shows “how far mobile technology has evolved” in South Africa. Delpost says the trial also follows the competition of a radio network renewal programme undertaken by Vodacom six years ago that has seen every single Vodacom base station in South Africa receive equipment upgrades or replacements.
“We’ve just completed the longest and probably the most complex engineering project in Vodacom’s history which involved switching out the equipment at every single site across the country,” Delport says, adding that this means all of the network’s more than 10 000 base stations are now 4G-ready.
This, according to Delport means that Vodacom “is ideally positioned to support government’s broadband objectives”. In a bout of a staggering optimism government has said it wants to ensure universal access to broadband by 2020.
Operators argue that mobile connectivity is the only way that goal will be reached, but that additional radio frequency spectrum is required to make this happen. “We’re looking forward to rolling this higher speed technology out as soon as additional spectrum becomes available,” Delport says.
“The radio network swap project is about much more than super-fast speeds. We’ve also been investing heavily to make sure that we have the capacity to handle the massive growth in call and particularly data volumes in South Africa,” Deport adds. “Broadband access is one of the keys to economic development and thanks to this project we’re ready and able to play our part.”
For more information on Vodacom’s network upgrades watch the interview between Aki Anastasiou and Andries Delport below: