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South Africa launches 5G network spectrum

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Rain South Africa has launched South Africa’s first 5G network in parts of Johannesburg and Tshwane, and it is offering prices that make fibre connections seem slow.

5G is the latest iteration evolution of wireless data standards, and promises to be roughly 10 times faster than the current state-of-the-art 4G used by cellphone networks, while also being more reliable.

Rain, the data-only mobile operator, said selected existing customers have been invited to use the new ultra-fast network with unlimited internet access for R1,000 a month ( about N25,000).

Other interested users can apply for 5G through Rain’s website, and will be alerted once it is available in their region.

Rain’s chief marketing officer Khaya Dlanga said the company has achieved speeds of 700 Mbps during testing, but the typical client will see speeds around 200 Mbps.By comparison, a 40 Mbps fibre line at Telkom costs R1,199 a month, and you will pay R1,067 a month for a 50 Mbps fibre line via Afrihost.

During the course of the next year 5G coverage area will be extended to Durban and Cape Town, Dlanga said.

Vodacom and MTN have both said they could launch 5G locally in 2019, but have been restricted by a lack of access to the necessary radio frequency spectrum.

Vodacom already launched a 5G network in Lesotho in 2018.

In a policy discussion document released in August, the national treasury said data prices could decline by as much as 25% if the appropriate spectrum is released in South Africa.The release of spectrum, Treasury said, would reduce the cost of doing business in SA and contribute up to 0.6% in economic growth.

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Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams in July issued a policy directive to Icasa to release additional spectrum.

If implemented, that would be the first time in 14 years that additional spectrum is released for use, after the state repeatedly missed its own deadlines to do so.

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Icasa told Business Insider South Africa in August that the body is still “applying its mind on the published policy direction” and will only outline the process to release spectrum at a later stage.

Nigeria

The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, recently said the Commission has approved dedicated spectrum for trial deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) services in the country.

Danbatta disclosed this in an opening remark at the 1st Digital African Week organised by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) hosted by the Commission at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

Addressing stakeholders at the event, Danbatta acknowledged the evolving trends in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) ecosystem, giving rise to such technologies as Internet of Things (IoT) applications and smart cities and communities (SC&C), among others, saying the Commission was well positioned to jump-start trial of 5G deployment in the country.

“In this regards, we have approved spectrum for the trial of 5G services in the country,” he said, stressing that the licensing of seven infrastructure companies (Infraco) to deploy metro and inter-city fiber and broadband Point of Access with a minimum capacity of 10Gbps across the 774 Local Government Areas of Nigeria, is in line with the 8-point agenda of the Commission for the provision of ubiquitous broadband infrastructures across the country in the Next Level document.

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Source: Business Insider (with added report by TechEconomy.ng)

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