Vodacom has shown off a working 5G connection and various use cases for the next-generation technology at Vodacom World in Midrand, Gauteng.
The event displayed the various consumer technologies and applications enabled by the high-speed network.
This follows the company’s recent launch of its 5G network in Lesotho, which it said is the first commercial 5G network in Africa.
Speaking at the event, Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub said the company was very excited about the speeds it was seeing on its 5G network in Lesotho.
“This is the first commercial launch of 5G anywhere on the continent,” Joosub said.
“We are now seeing up to 1Gbps speeds on our network, which is very exciting.”
The mobile operator said its South African network was ready to connect 5G customers – all that it requires is the spectrum to support the technology.
Vodacom CTO Andries Delport said the lower latency of 5G technology combined with edge computing and a NarrowBand IoT (NB-IoT) network would enable various new applications.
“Latency is the one parameter that will open possibilities for the 5G network which other technologies are not able to deliver,” Delport said.
“We have no idea what all the use cases will be, but the reality is the number of possibilities that are being created by this technology is endless.”
Vodacom showed off a number of use cases for commercial 5G networks at the event, using Huawei’s CPE hardware – including live video streaming, cloud-powered virtual reality applications.
The company hosted various demonstrations of 5G network applications at its event, too, leveraging its temporary spectrum licence in the 3.5GHz band.
Vodacom further conducted a speed test on the 5G network deployed at the venue, reaching:
- Download speeds of 704.2Mbps.
- Upload speeds of 90.2Mbps.
- A latency of 9ms.