Wireless Business Solutions (WBS), better known as iBurst, has announced plans to bring LTE-A (4.5G) mobile internet to South Africa through a multi-billion rand investment in the data network.
The news follows hot on the heels of Telkom’s own announcement of LTE-A, which it switched on in the small town of George in the Western Cape.
While Telkom’s 4.5G internet is only available now in George, it has plans to launch nationally some time in the future.
WBS’s Paul Harris explained that SA needs investment in capacity, which will in turn address some of the economic problems.
“Nothing can be gained by sitting on the sidelines. WBS’ investment is a manifestation of its confidence in South Africa and its desire to contribute,” he said in a media statement.
The company explained that the network it has invested in will use the existing spectrum assignments in the 1800 and 2600 Mhz bands. The investment in 4.5G will also serve as a precursor for the next step in mobile internet.
“It will be enabled to use 5G when the technology is rolled out internationally inside the next 5 years and will place South Africa amongst the leaders in the field,” WBS said. “A limited number of sites are already in operation and existing WBS customers will be converted to the new network – with national rollout commencing in the next few months.”
It also said that it has a distinct advantage over other mobile networks, as it doesn’t have to worry about older networks like 2G or 3G and can get straight down to business. Once it is up and running, it will be deployed on 400 of WBS’ own sites and some leased ones.