At the weekend the Vodacom Durban July took place and while the event is usually about glitz and glamour, Vodacom, LG and Nokia took the chance to make it a bit geeky.

The trio showed off a 5G data session on a commercially ready 5G network and smartphone. That smartphone is the LG V50 ThinQ.

For the 5G network, Nokia provided its Airscale 5G radio solution with 64 receive and 64 transmit antenna which is primed to deliver 5G Massive Multiple Input Multiple Output.

The solution can also support concurrent 4G and 5G operations on the same radio.

As for Vodacom, the network brought its live transport and core network elements which have been upgraded for 5G. The network was granted a temporary spectrum license by ICASA of 100MHz in the 3.5GHz range.

“Vodacom has once again demonstrated what is possible when using 5G technology as we did today by demonstrating Africa‚Äôs first live, 5G data session on a commercially ready 5G mobile phone and network,” said chief technology officer at Vodacom, Andries Delport (pictured).

Naturally, local networks are still awaiting spectrum allocation for 5G from government.

What is special about this demonstration is that it made use of 5G ready smartphone and 5G ready network rather than fixed 5G routers as the device.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that Vodacom has showcased 5G at the Durban July. The firm showcased the technology at the race last year when it streamed the race at 4K in 360 degrees.