After a significant partnership last year that expanded its business, Vodacom Group Chief Executive Shameel Joosub announced on Tuesday (Feb. 4) that the company will collaborate with Liquid Telecom to bring 5G mobile services to South Africa.
Starting this year, the two companies will offer customers joint 5G mobile services. Mobile consumers in the country are frustrated by delays in the availability of the necessary, more robust infrastructure to allow much faster telecommunications than 4G networks.
“We expect to be able to launch 5G services in South Africa this year,” Vodacom’s Joosub said in a statement. “This is possible thanks to a recent roaming agreement with Liquid Telecom, as 5G spectrum is largely unassigned in South Africa.”
Vodacom previously launched a 5G mobile service in Lesotho, a smaller country on the continent. Joosub also revealed the company’s expansion Tanzania would be impeded because of a regulatory matter that caused 1.7 million customers to be disconnected. Those customers, he said, will be brought back into the network once they have submitted to a necessary biometric registration.
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has regulatory power in the country and announced it will begin the planning and implementation of the 5G spectrum sometime this spring, most likely in April.
Rain, a mobile operator that only provides data services, launched a fixed-wireless 5G network, Reuters said. The service is available in Johannesburg and neighboring Tshwane.
Vodacom reported a 6.6 percent rise in revenue for the last quarter of 2019, with its M-Pesa mobile financial service especially demonstrating strong growth in data and revenues.