Finnish kit vendor Nokia has been working with Vodacom South Africa for 26 years, so it’s no big surprise for it to get the 5G gig.

A perhaps more interesting aspect of this news is what it says about the state of 5G in South Africa and even the continent on the whole. With the 5G rollout still in its infancy in most parts of the world, it’s good to see South Africa get going, with Vodacom 5G mobile broadband and fixed wireless access (FWA) services already live in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town.

“We are committed to providing the most innovative products and highest quality service to our subscribers,” said Beverly Ngwenya, Technology Director at Vodacom South Africa. “5G technology allows us to deliver ultra-fast mobile networks and support entirely new use cases as we move into the 4IR era. Nokia has been our network partner for more than two decades, and its latest technology solutions are now helping us to deliver superior 5G services.”

“From our 26-year relationship with Vodacom we understand that South Africa is a highly competitive market, with end-users expecting continent-leading services and applications,” said Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia. “We are proud to have successfully executed this important network deployment, enabling Vodacom to deliver those sought-after broadband capabilities.”

FWA seems to be a big driver behind Vodacom’s 5G investments, which makes sense. While its work with Nokia includes fixed line deployments, FTTH presumably still has a way to go in many parts of the country. 5G-powered FWA should be a great way to bring fast broadband to a lot of underserved premises across the whole of Africa, so hopefully there will be a lot more announcements like this before long.

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