Nokia announced that it is has deployed 5G radio, core and fixed network solutions across South African operator Vodacom’s network.
In a release, the Finnish vendor said that Vodacom is using Nokia’s 2G, 3G, 4G and fiber access networks, as well as 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) and mobile broadband services.
As part of the deal, Nokia is supplying its AirScale, Fastmile and Subscriber Data Management (SDM) / Home Subscriber Server (HSS) products to Vodacom to enhance its service offering.
Nokia’s AirScale radio network product portfolio will enable Vodacom to deploy 5G services across several spectrum bands, including the new 3.5 GHz, 2.6 GHz and 700/800 MHz bands which will be auctioned by South African regulator (ICASA) before the end of March 2021.
Vodacom will also use Nokia’s FastMile 5G gateway to offer FWA broadband services in areas not currently served by a fiber network.
“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 fourth industrial revolution 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.”
“Our AirScale 5G and Fastmile fixed wireless access portfolio helps service providers across the globe to build robust and reliable networks to address the growing demand for high-speed broadband services. 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.”
In May, Vodacom launched what it claimed to be Africa’s first live 5G mobile network.
The initial 5G service was initially available in the cities of Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town.
Vodacom was assigned temporary spectrum by South Africa’s watchdog ICASA for the duration of the national state of disaster due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including one 50 megahertz channel in the 3.5 GHz band, which has been used to fast-track the carrier’s 5G launch.
In February, Vodacom Chief Executive Shameel Joosub said that the company was aiming to launch commercial 5G services during 2020 by using a network being built by rival operator Liquid Telecom.
Liquid Telecom had previously announced it was building a wholesale 5G network in South Africa.Liquid Telecom, which will use its own spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band, said it would allow other operators to use this infrastructure for the provision of 5G technology. Liquid added that its 5G service would be available in major South African cities.
Vodacom, which is majority owned by U.K. telecom group Vodafone, previously said it would manage the 5G network on behalf of Liquid Telecom.