Vodacom launches 5G in South Africa

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Telecoms giant, Vodacom, has announced that it launched Africa’s first 5G network in three South African cities – Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town on Monday. This is to help the telecoms provider manage the increase in mobile network traffic being experienced during the lockdown.

Last year, MTN Nigeria commenced a 3-month 5G trial. However, the Nigerian Communications Commission has not provided a time frame for the launch of 5G in Nigeria.

Vodacom was recently assigned temporary spectrum by ICASA for the duration of the national state of disaster, including 1 x 50 MHz in the 3.5 GHz band, which has been used to fast-track our 5G launch. It also makes Vodacom the first operator to activate temporary spectrum in South Africa.

Vodacom and Liquid Telecom also concluded managed network services and national roaming agreements for a national 5G network in December 2019.

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As a more efficient technology than its predecessors (such as 3G and 4G), the deployment of 5G will help Vodacom manage the 40% increase in mobile network traffic and the 250% increase in fixed traffic experienced during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO, says: “Vodacom’s 5G launch in South Africa comes at an important time as it will help us improve our network efficiency during the COVID-19 national state of disaster. During this difficult and unprecedented period, we are proud to offer world-class network technology to South Africa, and all of its associated benefits, as we provide an essential service to keep the country connected. This is largely due to the allocation of temporary spectrum by ICASA which has already mitigated the network congestion we have experienced since the start of the lockdown period.”

Vodacom announced in 2018 that it had begun modernising its network to prepare for the deployment of standards-based 5G technology in South Africa, subject to the allocation of spectrum.  5G was designed to meet the growing data and connectivity requirements of modern society, as the amount of data traffic is expected to continue growing at exponential rates.

Vodacom expects to expand its initial 5G rollout as more smartphones, Wi-Fi and Fixed wireless access routers become available.

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The current 5G network equipment deployed also operates in the same frequency bands which are expected to be permanently assigned through an auction later in the year. Existing 4G tariffs for mobile and fixed will initially apply to Vodacom’s 5G service offering, with special 5G tariffs to be announced in due course.

Customers can check if they are in a 5G coverage area on the Vodacom website. They can then either sign up for a new 5G device deal or upgrade online. The new 5G device will be delivered to the customer’s home during the national lockdown period.

Read Also:  China Mobile First To Deploy Nokia's New Massive MIMO Solution, Increasing The Transition To 5G Services

5G improves significantly on 4G in three key areas:

    1. 1. Faster speeds:

In comparison to 4G, peak speeds on 5G will increase significantly. 5G will enable fibre-like speeds using the mobile network. This will be extremely useful to download media content like 4K and even 8K movies in seconds. The higher speeds from 5G will also enable entirely new applications in future like augmented and Virtual Reality (VR) which will be helpful to realise new applications such as e-education and also new forms of entertainment like watching a sports game or music concert live in VR from home.

    1. 2. Lower latency & better reliability:

Latency is the time it takes for devices to send and receive signals between each other. Latency is very important for applications which require near real-time responses, for example, between the user device and a cloud server used in gaming. In comparison to 4G where latencies are typically between 20-30 milliseconds, 5G can support latencies as low as 1 millisecond.

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The lower latency from 5G will also enable entirely new applications in future such as remote robotic surgery, where decisions must be made by the remote surgeon and sent back to the surgery robot in near real-time.

    1. 3. More capacity:

5G networks can also provide much more capacity for data. 5G uses spectrum in a much more efficient manner than 4G technology and is able to fit more data into the same amount of spectrum.

5G devices can connect many more “things” to the network at the same time, enabling the realisation of new applications such as smart homes and smart cities. 5G is also more efficient than 4G in terms of the energy required per bit of data which is transmitted or received.

Vodacom was the first network operator to launch a 5G commercial service in Africa in Lesotho in 2018 and was also first to bring 2G, 3G and 4G services to South Africa. The widespread rollout of 5G will support the Government’s 4IR objectives in future and will facilitate the creation of an entirely new technologically enabled world. 5G supports entirely new applications which will enable a much smarter and more convenient way of both livings, working and playing and which current 3G and 4G networks might not be able to support.

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Latest News

New entrant AECO Energy launches business innovation to deliver ‘last mile of value chain’ to Singapore’s maturing open electricity market

  • AECO Energy announces the launch of its operations in Singapore to provide innovation to the open electricity market for businesses with generation 2.0 of its technology and service offerings.
  • The company will introduce three solutions as part of its initial portfolio, customisable to specific business needs.


SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 13 April 2021 - AECO Energy, a new entrant to Singapore's electricity sector, has today announced the launch of its operations. AECO Energy will be the first-of-its kind energy technology and services company aimed at innovating customer-centric offerings in electricity and renewable energy markets.

With over 12 years of experience in delivering open market electricity services and solutions to businesses in Australia under the Power Choice brand, AECO Energy is bringing its second generation of services and technology to Singapore for the first time. AECO's second generation delivers on two major offerings.

Firstly, AECO delivers the 'last mile' of value in Singapore Open Electricity Market (OEM) value chain by providing innovative services to assist businesses to manage, plan and make better buying decisions.

AECO is all about enabling increased profits for businesses. AECO has a customer-centric mission to use its low-cost proven technology and expert-led services to enable better business decisions within a complex electricity market with multiple providers and opaque medium- to long-term pricing information. This comes against the backdrop of Singapore's maturing OEM, which gives businesses and consumers the autonomy to buy and choose their electricity providers - the freedom to choose.

AECO Energy's technology platform, MarketPro™ with its unique, electricity futures market simulator Rate Watch™, delivers business and electricity efficiency and empowers businesses through relevant and timely pricing information, while also helping Singapore businesses make better buying decisions via automated tenders and reverse auctions. Moreover, for businesses who do not have the capability and capacity to manage and purchase its own electricity, AECO Energy Portfolio™ delivers scalable buying power with a fully-managed contract management and purchasing aggregation service for small, medium and large businesses.

Alan Jones, CEO, Chairman & Founder, AECO Energy, said: "We are incredibly excited and humbled to be joining Singapore's dynamic energy scene with our low-cost, high-value products and services. Our mission is clear: just like Amazon is revolutionising the 'last mile' of product supply chains with its same day delivery, we are also delivering the 'last mile' of the value chain in Singapore's OEM that enables more businesses better purchasing decisions, more business profitability and growing all of Singapore's economy."

Secondly, with SGX-listed entities, enterprises and multinational corporations (MNCs)' increasing emphasis on sustainability, AECO (through its SustainPro™ offering) will bring for the first-time in Singapore the benefit of AECO's direct relationship with generators of International Renewable Certificates (I-REC). This enables Southeast Asian markets the benefit of medium- to long-term low-cost and structured REC solutions to meet renewable energy targets and sustainability goals. This translates to more profits by providing more predictable costs for businesses in meeting their sustainability and renewable energy goals.

"As a specialised company, unburdened with corporate overheads and distractions from Singapore's local market participants, we can offer companies who are based anywhere in Southeast Asia, sustainability and renewable energy solutions that span markets and countries at a lower and more predictable price. We are honoured to play our part to bring sustainability and increased renewable energy throughout the world and to do so while benefiting our customers' cost structures," continued Mr. Jones.

AECO Energy is introducing three offerings as part of its electricity management solutions:

  • MarketPro™: Businesses can optimise costs and seize market opportunities with exclusive access to customised market price information through AECO Energy's integrated online procurement and management platform equipped with Rate Watch™, a market simulation and automated procurement technology from as low as SGD $149 per month.
  • Portfolio™: Businesses get exclusive access to economies of scale with better buying power through professional and expert-managed energy procurement portfolios overseen by AECO Energy experts. This allows enterprises to focus on their core business while AECO Energy experts will fully-manage their electricity contracts and make better buying decisions on their behalf from as low as an additional SGD $74 per month.
  • SustainPro™: SustainPro focuses on helping businesses meet their sustainability goals at the lowest cost. AECO Energy offers lower costs on the procurement of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and tailored REC supply solutions designed to meet transition needs towards a more sustainable business.

"With the understanding that business needs are unique for every organisation, our energy experts will work closely with customers here in Singapore to help them reduce costs, drive efficiency and make better buying decisions. By providing technology-enabled, insights-driven energy technology solutions, we want to create a profound impact on our customers' businesses to better position them for sustainable growth in the long-term," concluded Alan.


About AECO Energy:

Based in Singapore, the AECO Pacific Group owns and operates the Power Choice and AECO Energy brands. A leading pioneer for more than 12 years in electricity brokerage and consulting services in Asia Pacific focusing on deregulated electricity markets, AECO Pacific helps businesses with electricity procurement and management backed by market intelligence. Transforming and saving businesses more, AECO's combined experience in energy leadership and innovative technology solutions remain unmatched in dynamic and changing energy markets. For more information, visit https://powerchoice.com.au/ and https://aecoenergy.sg/.

Vodacom launches 5G in South Africa - Brand Spur
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