Not content with taking the lid off of a new 7 inch tablet in the form of the Smart Tab 3G, Vodacom also told us about the upcoming Smart 4 Turbo, an LTE enabled smartphone set to hit the SA market before year end at a tantalising (planned) sub R1 500 price point.

The only specification that we have available at the moment is that the Smart 4 Turbo will be equipped with a 4.5 inch display but from its price point we can assume that it will share very similar specification to those of the Smart Tab 3G – that would mean 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage. Processor wise it could go either with a quad core chip from Mediatek or a dual core chip from Qualcomm which both offer LTE solutions.

[UPDATE] Qualcomm has confirmed to us that it will be providing the silicon to run the Smart 4 Turbo which will will almost certainly mean that the processor will be a Snapdragon 210 model.

The move by Vodacom to lower the cost of LTE smartphones is more than likely a plan to migrate as many customers off of its saturated 2G and 3G networks, as well as giving customers access to faster data connections that would allow them to consumer more data and therefore increase their average revenue contribution to Vodacom’s bottom line.

Vodacom has a planned investment of R9bn in upgrading its network infrastructure this year and is aiming for 1Mbps speeds in rural and greater urban areas with a 3Mbos minimum data connection speed in urban centres like Johannesburg and Cape Town. The increased network capacity would then need to be utilised which is where the proliferation of high speed devices like the Smart 4 Turbo would come in.

We’ll keep you updated on the Smart 4 Turbo as and when Vodacom sends us more details.