Everything you need to know about 5G in South Africa
5G is the fifth-generation wireless mobile network and is the newest and fastest iteration of our global mobile networking standard. 5G started getting traction in South Africa in 2019 and is actually the driver for the 4th Industrial revolution.
The main advantages of 5G include:
• Greater bandwidth which results in faster and smoother download and upload speeds
• Increased reliability and consistent network connectivity
• Better Live Streaming, gaming capabilities and video calling
• Cost effective data price plans
• Is able to power the “Internet of Things,” meaning it will allow most people and devices to be connected virtually
How to get 5G?
You will first need a 5G compatible mobile device and SIM card for the 5G technology to work for you. A 4G, 3G and 2G mobile device will not be able to get 5G signals.
5G is available on iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. Once you have a device which has 5G, you will then need to contact a carrier that supports 5G. At this stage, you can either sign up for a MTN or Vodacom 5G contract in South Africa.
5G on MTN
MTN launched 5G in June 2020. Customers who have an iPhone with 5G capabilities can sign up or upgrade to a qualifying price plan with MTN to activate 5G. This is available on the following plans: Made for Me, MTN Sky and 5G data plans. If you already have an iPhone with 5G capabilities, it will automatically connect to the MTN 5G network.
MTN has 5G coverage in the following areas: Johannesburg (Bryanston and Honeydew), Cape Town (Blouberg) and Bloemfontein (Universitas). Click here to view the live coverage map.
MTN will deliver 5G connectivity on four different spectrum bands:
• 3.5 GHz at 58 sites - Available in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Bloemfontein
• 2,100MHz and 1,800MHz at 35 sites - Available in Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth
• 700MHz at 5 sites - Available in Port Alfred, Hopetown, Virginia Queenstown and Tsantsabane
• 28GHz at 3 sites - Available in Hatfield, Edenvale and Durban
5G on Vodacom
Vodacom launched 5G in May, 2020. If customers have an iPhone with 5G capabilities, Vodacom will ensure that your SIM is provisioned for 5G within 24 hours after you’ve activated a Vodacom 5G contract. You won’t need a special SIM as all SIM cards are 5G-ready, you just need to be in an area that has 5G coverage to be able to experience the 5G network.
Currently, there are only 3 cities in South Africa which have 5G Vodacom coverage. This includes Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town. If you are not in an area which covers 5G, it will automatically swap to the signals that are available i.e. 5G-4G-3G.
If you do not fall within the coverage area, customers can choose to opt for the 4G deals available. You can provide Vodacom with your contact details and they will contact you as soon as 5G becomes available in your area or click here to view the live coverage map.