BREAKING: Vodacom Launches 4G in South Africa

Vodacom has become the first operator to launch commercial fourth-generation (4G) services based on long-term evolution (LTE) technology in South Africa on Wednesday, several local news sites reported.

According to TechCentral, the Vodacom 4G/LTE service will initially be accessible from about 70 base stations in Johannesburg and data costs would be the same as they are for 3G services, with other cities to follow in the near future, citing a statement.

“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,” CEO Shameel Joosub said in the statement.

Its competition, MTN and Cell C have earlier said they’ll be launching commercial 4G services this year and 8ta is expected to run a trial between November and January next year, with a commercial launch to follow early in 2013.

It is likely that MTN would go ahead and launch its 4G service even though it earlier said it wants as many as 500 sites live before launching the LTE service commercially in South Africa.

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