Vodacom Limpopo Region has switched on a 5G mobile network in Polokwane that supports both mobile and fixed wireless access services. Further rollouts are planned to other key municipal districts in that province.

Fundamentally, 5G opens the doors for mobile communications to support the digital transformation of economic activities. For example, 5G will enable government and local municipalities to tackle some of the biggest challenges cities and rural areas face such as efficient delivery of better services for citizens in health, education, agriculture, social services, improved energy management, to mention a few.

In May 2020, Vodacom switched on South Africa’s first live 5G mobile network in three cities – Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Cape Town. Now, this super high-speed technology is also available in Polokwane.

Imran Khan, managing executive for Vodacom Limpopo Region, says, “We are extremely pleased to further enhance our investment in Limpopo by launching the 5G network footprint in the province. Vodacom Limpopo remains committed to the digital transformation of the province. We want the communities of Limpopo to have access to the same technologies as all South Africans and therefore access to the same opportunities. This will support economic and social transformation. The widespread rollout of 5G will support the Government’s 4IR objectives and is going to accelerate the government’s transition to more digital-based services. This is going transform public service delivery and help the government to deliver excellent service delivery and help take the country forward. It will also allow our corporate customers to launch their bespoke solutions that are dependent on the high speeds and low latency that 5G networks offer.”

To launch the 5G network in Limpopo, Vodacom used the temporary spectrum assigned by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), specifically 1x50 MHz in the 3.5 GHz band. Vodacom has decided to use the 700 MHz band for wide scale mobile, 5G coverage and is supplementing network capacity with 3.5 GHz where required.

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