Vodacom in negotiations to offer 5G in SA

Vodacom is in negotiations with Rain and Liquid Telecom to allow it to roll out 5G in South Africa.

There is a strong request for affordable fixed-broadband services in South Africa and 5G can play an important role to satisfy this demand. Vodacom desires to offer South Africans reasonable fixed-broadband products and faster mobile services.

Vodacom has already installed standards-based 5G technology in South Africa, but can offer 5G services locally if it gains access to 5G spectrum.

Vodacom declared, “We reiterate our call to license 5G spectrum in South Africa as soon as possible, as this spectrum is not subject to any digital migration processes.”

Principally, there is a large amount of spectrum in the 2.6GHz and 3.5GHz bands which is currently not being used and can be licensed to offer a meaningful 5G network rollout.

Hence, Vodacom is in negotiations to enable it to launch 5G in South Africa. There are two companies which have appropriate spectrum and can help Vodacom realize its 5G ambitions: Liquid Telecom and Rain.

Rain has already launched 5G network in Gauteng and Cape Town using its own sites, with plans to also procure new sites.

The CEO of Rain, Willem Roos has declared that it will offer 5G services directly to consumers as well as through other distribution channels in the future.

While not citing Vodacom directly, Roos added that they “always remain open to discuss roaming opportunities”.

On the other hand, Liquid Telecom stated that it continues to explore the best commercial models that will allow it to monetize its spectrum assets.

Regarding its 5G discussions with Rain and Liquid Telecom, Vodacom expressed it “will continue to explore other opportunities which may be of value to our customers. This will help promote significant investment once there is certainty around securing access to much needed 4G and 5G spectrum of our own.”