How to enable LTE on your Vodacom iPhone 5

Published by on Jan 29th, 2013, 24 Comments

While the iPhone 5 was not a massive upgrade from the previous 4S model, the addition of high speed LTE networking is something a lot of people have been looking for. But it arrived on SA’s shores without LTE enabled for any of our networks.

Problem is that Apple approves networks before they enable LTE on their iPhones – and if the networks dont have Apple’s approval, the phone simply would not connect to the LTE networks, even if they are available. While some might argue that it is typical from Apple to try and control these things, maybe Apple would want more tight control over anything affecting reception after the Antennagate issues of the iPhone 4.

Luckily Vodacom now has LTE enabled for contract iPhone 5 devices – MTN and Cell C has no such support right now, despite carrying the iPhone 5.


MTN SA Launches LTE in Major Cities (except Cape Town…)

Published by on Nov 30th, 2012, No Comments

MTN SA has gone live with the commercial availability of LTE (Long Term Evolution) in the Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban regions, promising to bring the consumer faster broadband speeds and a better Internet experience. As of 1 December 2012, South African consumers will be able to purchase LTE devices and access the revolutionary technology on the MTN network.

Says Kanagaratnam Lambotharan, Chief Technology Officer at MTN SA: “Having piloted LTE for some time now, we are confident that we have made significant milestones in providing access to this technology and are happy to be able to offer our customers the LTE experience over our world-class MTN network. To date, there are a limited number of devices that offer support for multiple LTE bands including legacy 2G and 3G support.”

With this launch, MTN is offering the LTE Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9” on a MTN 2GB TopUp contract for R799.00 per month, over 12 months.

Adds Lambotharan: “As we know, mobile users like to browse the Internet, share photos, download music and watch video clips and have therefore created a need for enhanced and uninterrupted experience for the Internet on the network, especially with video. This has resulted in the global move towards LTE. LTE is much faster than HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) and offers more capacity.  We are proud to announce the commercial availability of LTE – which means video streaming with no interruptions, better conferencing and downloads, and overall faster Internet browsing for our consumers.”  (more…)

Samsung readying LTE devices for SA

Published by on Nov 19th, 2012, No Comments

With the recent introduction of its Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note 2 mobile devices in South Africa, Samsung is reinforcing its commitment to ensure local users are able to benefit from high-speed LTE data networks. Vodacom recently launched their LTE offering, and Samsung’s latest LTE specific devices are amongst the handful of supported devices.

“Samsung has amongst the world’s most advanced and field-proven LTE product line-up. As South Africa’s mobile networks prepare to roll out these high-end data services to customers, we are excited to offer people the devices capable to benefit from the next step in wireless communication,” says Craige Fleischer, Director of Mobile Communications at Samsung South Africa.

Africa is the fastest growing mobile market in the world and is second only to Asia in terms of size. More innovative mobile devices capable of letting people get the most out of their connectivity experience has become critical as manufacturers seek to harness the power from more advanced communication technologies such as LTE.

“With new devices like the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note 2, Samsung is providing consumers with a richer mobile experience. As African mobile operators start to embrace LTE, we want to offer them solutions that are capable of giving their users content and services that were previously not feasible,” adds Fleischer. (more…)

Vodacom expands LTE network, announces new Modems and Phones

Published by on Nov 7th, 2012, No Comments

Vodacom has tripled the number of LTE enabled base stations in its network from just under 70 at launch a month ago to over 200 in Johannesburg and testing has begun in Cape Town.

LTE, which stands for Long Term Evolution, is a new generation of mobile technology with the capability to operate at speeds up to 3 times faster than 3G.

Zunaid Dinath, Vodacom’s Chief Officer Sales and Distribution said that “LTE represents a step change in mobile capabilities. Thanks to faster speeds, we’re able to unlock the true potential of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. LTE has the ability to deliver stutter-free video and almost instantaneous music and picture downloads; and because it’s mobile, we can deliver this experience whether you’re at your office, on the move, or at home.”

In addition to the wider network coverage, Vodacom now has LTE devices on sale at Vodacom World in Midrand and selected Vodacom outlets across Gauteng. Customers can now buy the Samsung Galaxy S III LTE, Vodafone K5006 and Alcatel One Touch L100V LTE dongle modems on the following contracts:


Vodacom officially launches LTE 4G network (Update: Coverage Map Added)

Published by on Oct 10th, 2012, 13 Comments

Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub announced today at the MyBroadband Conference 2012 that Vodacom’s LTE (commonly referred to as 4G) service had been officially switched on and was open for business. The service is initially available in Johannesburg, with other cities to follow in the near future.

Joosub said “Vodacom was the first network in SA to test LTE more than two years ago, and since then we’ve been busy upgrading base stations and our fibre-optic transmission network in preparation for today. It’s great to claim another South African first for Vodacom with the launch of LTE services to the public, and it’s even more pleasing that we’ve done this ahead of many other advanced economies around the world. South Africa has joined an exclusive club with the fastest connectivity the world has to offer.”

LTE represents a major jump in mobile connectivity capabilities. The service has the potential to operate at more than double the speed of any existing mobile connection currently commercially available in South Africa, and at significant multiples faster than the 2G and 3G connections common across the country. Higher speed and lower latency translate into a more stable user experience with stutter-free video and almost instantaneous music and picture downloads.

Contract customers with LTE capable devices can activate the service from today by simply calling 111 or visiting any Vodacom shop*. LTE capable devices will be on sale in selected Vodacom outlets before the end of October, with priority going to existing Vodacom customers.

Commenting on Vodacom’s intention to be the first choice for anyone looking to connect via this new technology, Joosub said “LTE devices are in short supply world-wide, but thanks to Vodafone’s global purchasing power we’re confident that Vodacom will have the best possible selection in stores in the very near future.”

The LTE service will initially be accessible via approximately 70 base stations in Johannesburg. A coverage map is available on Further announcements will be made with respect to the network roll-out plans in due course.

Joosub said “Switching on commercial LTE services is just one step in a much bigger network transformation. With over 9,000 base stations, Vodacom already has by far the most extensive network in South Africa and on average delivers faster connection speeds. Our challenge isn’t keeping ahead of the other operators – it’s keeping ahead of the tidal wave of data demand. Ninety percent of our 3G base stations are 21.6 Mbps enabled, and almost 80% are 43.2 Mbps enabled. By the end of the year we aim to have 500 sites enabled for LTE.” (more…)

MTN commits to LTE rollout in 3 SA cities

Published by on Oct 1st, 2012, 4 Comments

MTN SA has expanded its network capacity and capability by rolling out an intense infrastructure development drive focused on leapfrogging customer experience through network expansion. The telecommunications operator today revealed that it has increased 2nd Generation (2G) network coverage to 98.6% of the country’s population while the company’s EDGE and 3rdGeneration sites cover 92% and close to 65% of South Africa respectively.

“With the increase of mobile and data usage, and an aggressive approach to providing access to broadband to more areas so as to narrow the digital divide, it was important that we focus on expanding our network and coverage to ensure capacity to carry traffic seamlessly and therefore enhancing our customers’ experience,” explains Kanagaratnam Lambotharan, Chief Technology Officer at MTN SA. “This is line with positioning ourselves as a future-proof and forward thinking operator with adequate capacity to address both business and consumer needs and enhancing experience on the network.” (more…)

MTN announces LTE high speed network rollout in Gauteng

Published by on Jul 14th, 2011, 1 Comment

This just in. MTN is about to rollout their new high speed LTE network. This is great news in SA’s current very competitive broadband space – but LTE is a newer wireless internet standard which has not been rolled out at this scale in SA yet.

With its architecture centered on Internet Protocol (IP), Long Term Evolution promises to have excellent support for browsing Web sites, VoIP and other IP-based services. LTE can theoretically support downloads at 300 Megabits per second (Mbps) or more based on experimental trials, but actual real world speeds are much slower.

However the final speeds are still a big improvement over existing wireless broadband solutions, but the biggest improvement is in latency, with around 20ms times. Compare this to current high speed HSPA+ connections, which typically do not get faster than 60ms. This will of course be beneficial for people who like their online gaming, but also for things like VoIP.

These new fibre backed network clusters only have around 600 meters coverage per antenna, which means that a significant effort is required to roll out this service, and it will not be available everywhere at first (in other words, typically city areas).

But here is the full scoop:

Today MTN announced the launch of a Long Term Evolution (LTE) pilot in five clusters around Gauteng that will revolutionise the provisioning of broadband services in South Africa.

The LTE rollout and pilot test, which MTN is undertaking in partnership with Huawei and Ericsson, will see selected MTN customers with provisioned dongles reaping the benefits of navigating on an ultra-high speed network that boasts speeds of up to 70Mbps across over 100 sites (more…)