South African operator Vodacom has launched LTE services in Johannesburg and will extend the service to other cities in the “near future”, the company said in a statement.
Shameel Joosub, group CEO, Vodacom made the announcement today at the MyBroadband Conference 2012. “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,” he said.
“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.”
The LTE service, which currently relies on 70 base stations in Johannesburg, has the potential to operate at more than double the speed of any existing mobile connection currently commercially available in South Africa, and at significant multiples faster than the 2G and 3G connections common across the country. Higher speed and lower latency translate into a more stable user experience with stutter-free video and almost instantaneous music and picture downloads, the company said.
Contract customers with LTE capable devices can activate the service by calling 111 or visiting any Vodacom shop.
LTE capable devices will be on sale in selected Vodacom outlets before the end of October, with priority going to existing Vodacom customers.
In November 2011, Vodacom's competitor, MTN, tested an LTE network in Cape Town.