VODACOM Telecom Lesotho has revealed that the Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL) and Letšeng Diamonds are the first two organisations to use the mobile service provider’s newly launched 5G internet.
Vodacom announced last month that it was launching Africa’s first 5G internet service and eventually held colourful introductory sessions held concurrently in Maseru and Johannesburg via live streaming on 7 September 2018.
Vodacom Lesotho managing director Rishaad Tayob said the 5G network would open up opportunities for the banking and mining industries to flex their innovation.
“Letšeng Diamond Mine and the CBL have shown willingness to adopt this technology and I commend them for that,” Mr Tayob said.
“I believe the benefit to both these industries will be firstly the speed and the capacity which will be provided by the 5G service which will be of tremendous value to them and will help to open up vast opportunities in the innovation space.”
He said the 5G technology would also be useful for both large and small enterprises, government departments and non-governmental organisations interested in innovation.
He further said that the 5G service would give Vodacom the ability to provide broadband internet at high speeds in remote areas where there is no fibre connection.
“Being the first to launch 5G on the African continent is a massive milestone for Lesotho. We were the first company to introduce 2G, we were the first to bring 3G and 4G and we are proud to be the first to bring 5G to the country.”
For his part, Vodacom Lesotho chief technologies officer (CTO), Molupe Mothepu, said the introduction of the 5G internet would enable users to download 700-megabyte movies in less than a second.
He however, said the service will not be immediately accessible to ordinary subscribers since 5G compatible mobile devices are not yet available. The 5G compatible devices, he said, are expected to be available by the end of 2019.
“In an economy like ours where we are trying to ensure that we encourage small and medium enterprises to see how we can relieve government from carrying the load of the economy, it becomes important for us to provide an access to internet for small enterprises, so that is one of the areas we are going to push for as we go along,” Mr Mothepu said.
Vodacom Lesotho chairperson Matjato Moteane paid homage to Mr Tayob for overseeing the successful introduction of the 5G service in the country. Mr Tayob is set to leave Vodacom Lesotho before the end of the year to take up another post in South Africa.
Mr Moteane also said the organisation would also likely be out to bolster its workforce to ensure that they can deliver services smoothly.
“We always challenge our MD’s that when they leave there is something we remember about them. So, Rashaad, you will be remembered as the guy that made Lesotho proud again. We thank you for having achieved this feat.
“We will probably be looking for new skill sets and improving on our management team to deliver because and we know and believe that this is really a quantum leap,” Mr Moteane said.