The rollout of fifth-generation (5G) mobile networks will probably not raise Vodacom’s capital expenditure requirements as the infrastructure will be deployed in selected areas , says the operator’s chief technology officer, Andries Delport. Mobile operators globally are preparing to launch 5G, which promises to deliver ultra-fast download speeds with minimal delays in transmitting data — a prerequisite for technologies such as driverless cars, automated manufacturing, and robot-assisted remote surgeries. Vodacom, which spent R4bn on expanding and improving its South African network in the six months to end-September, launched Africa’s first 5G service in Lesotho in August. It said it will only be able to do the same in SA when regulators made the appropriate bands of spectrum available. Delport said in Cape Town on Tuesday it is unlikely that there will be large-scale rollouts of 5G in SA in the near-term, and that these networks will most likely be deployed in areas where there ar...

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