Vodacom launches high-speed network

2011-04-19 10:33

Cape Town - Vodacom has officially unveiled its new double-speed 43.2Mbps network in SA. 

This is something we've been working on for a while and it's double the speed of the thing Cell C called 4G," Vodacom's executive head of media relations Richard Boorman told News24.

The company has raced to roll the network out around the country and Boorman said that it put Vodacom in a clear lead over competitors in SA.

"More than 1 000 base stations in metropolitan areas across the country have been enabled with this new SuperMobile technology, and this will increase to 2 000 base stations during May," the cellular provider said.

Speed though, isn't the only concern.

Fibre rings

"Speed is good, but this allows us to better use the throughput of the network. It allows us to increase our capacity on the network. We're the first to make a 43.2Mbps network live in South Africa," Boorman said.

"The primary reason for investing in this new double-speed technology was to improve the customer experience.  With greater capacity on each base station, we can achieve just that.  The fact that individual connection speeds can be twice as fast is a nice side-effect but not the main goal," said Vodacom chief technology officer Andries Delport.

Over the last several years Vodacom has been replacing slow connections with fibre rings in metropolitan centres to increase capacity of the network. By implementing this new technology, Vodacom will potentially be able to carry about 20% more traffic in the main 3G frequency spectrum band.

"Connections speeds increase and the network capacity itself is also increased," said Delport.

Data traffic is becoming the main revenue driver for cellular providers as users in SA turn to wireless internet.

Despite, increased data cable capacity and cost reductions, many industry insiders feel that cable broadband will continue to be hamstrung because of the last mile connection monopoly that Telkom holds.

"Data is a major growth area for us. We've been building fibre rings around metro areas for years, by replacing slower connections with fibre," Boorman said.

Consumer value

Vodacom which has recently changed its logo, has been the subject of an advertising parody by competitors Cell C, but the company insists that it is offering consumer value.

"Implementing double-speed technology at our base stations is another step in a series of upgrades across the network, and serves to prove that there’s much more to the new Vodacom than just a new colour and logo," said Delport.

The provider is also offering a data plan called Night Owl where users who buy a 2GB package receive a second 2GB data bundle free.

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  • Hlasel_amafutha - 2011-04-19 10:40

    Ahha - not convinced. Bring your Prices down Vodacom or Vodafone, or whatever you are, and we'll talk. CellC for the win!!!!

      stephen scott - 2011-04-19 10:54

      I'm hearing Cell C dont work? couple of guys told me it keeps disconnecting? - 2011-04-19 11:10

      Stephen, I've been using the Cell C stick for a couple of months now and it's awesome (compared to the mtn one I was using before) and half the price. I have heard that signal drops, but that must be area specific as it’s only happened to me once or twice (I’m just north of Umhlanga.)

      Jacques Jones - 2011-04-19 11:44

      My cellc stick disconnects a lot but it is not a big issue i too think it is area specific. the speed on it is amazing and mine is for free

      johanclaasen - 2011-04-19 11:54

      My vodacom stick disconnects a lot, and I always have software problems with the thing. I hope they get that sorted rather than the speed...

      Shumba - 2011-04-19 12:02

      Also using the Cell C speedstick and have not had any problems (im in CT). speeds are pretty similar to what i was using before but price is less than half

      Hlasel_amafutha - 2011-04-19 13:06

      From all the comments I've read, People dont really care about speed as much as they care about affordability. 21MBps(cellc) vs 43MBps(vodafone) - All I'll be thinking is "how much bandwidth have I got left for the month"!! "Not, Look at that download speed". Vodafone, get the message - Bring your rates down!!!

      Carl Muller - 2011-06-08 18:20

      Unauthorised item on my VODACOM ACCOUNT!!!!!!!!! I have received my Vodacom account with an unauthorised item on it. Content Services - R194.40 R27.22 - total R 221.62 I did not request it. Yet when I phoned VODACOM today they said I will not get a credit and I must cancel it from a certain supplier. According to Vodacom I requested it.

  • lukas2 - 2011-04-19 10:51

    I agree. The speeds are getting faster, but the prices are also getting steeper at the same time.

  • YohYohYoh - 2011-04-19 10:55

    Why is it that the Big companies have to wait for there to be a threat before they improve their own service offering in order to retain market share? As opposed to just offering the best possible service that are available? CellC and Neotel had to break into the market and promote slight technology advances as their advantage before the big guys even budged in the direction of providing better service offerings. the state and price of telecoms in this country is just shooting us in the foot... Idiots

      stephen scott - 2011-04-19 10:59

      the game Monopoly is only manufactured by one company, I don't think that's fare.

      amos - 2011-04-19 14:09

      Cell C in the Port Shepstone area is still in the "DONKEY CART" era. Whilst all other networks offer 3G Cell C can offer only 2G and that too is rather erratic... don't believe all that crap they advertise.

  • skulldude70 - 2011-04-19 11:06

    But the main big question is this: Will customers get the full 43,2Mb/s (if the signal is decent obviously) or some watered down version like less than 10Mb/s? No use bragging about the bandwidth speed if customers are not getting said speed. Like Hellscum's supposed 4Mb line where customers will rarely, if ever, see anything close to 1Mb/s.........

      daboss247365 - 2011-04-19 13:24

      K@K man, my Telkom 10Mbps line runs at just under 10mbps as its supposed to. Get an unshaped account & you will have your full speed. read about what you are buying before attacking it, or you will seem like an idiot.

  • Gerhard - 2011-04-19 11:14

    Personally, I think they need to step up their VOICE network - it's been rubbish the last year or so - countless calls are dropped every day and they do nothing about it!

      Sunshine - 2011-04-19 12:14

      Amen to that, I am with Vodacom and the quality of their voice network is DISGUSTING to say the least!

      daboss247365 - 2011-04-19 13:50

      Gerhard, I could not agree more with you. I have however researched this & the problem is rather simple, the faster speed on 3g / HSDPA looses range as the number of users increase. Most handsets try to run their voice over the faster speed network. The solution: set your handset to use the GSM (2G) network. Your internet will be slower, but NO more dropped calls & NO more bad signal, + double the battery life :)

  • Lourens Kruger - 2011-04-19 11:16

    I live in RandPark Ridge, I have virtually no Vodacom 3G reception most of the time. I have logged endless calls with Vodacom customer care. They just keep giving out new reference numbers and do not actually do anything else. I have been battling with my problems for at least 2 years now. Can not wait untill my contract expires with Vodacom, will move to any other provider that can provide the basics. And yes I have friends that are close to my house with same problems, so it is not my Fridge or my house's flat roof that bounces the signals off into another direction.

      Lawence - 2011-04-19 12:21

      I say in Bromhof (near you) and have similar problems. Vodacom said it’s my fault and my areas fault because we object to them building their towers in our back yard. I have to drive to the mall near me sometimes to get a download. There’s a patch under a tree in my garden that sometimes gets signal. Mtn/Cell C, here I come on 3G and voice contracts

      amos - 2011-04-19 14:14

      Investigate before committing. Cell C in my area is just as bad...and mighty SLOW 2G.

      Xavier - 2011-04-19 14:46

      @Lourens & Lawence If you don't have vodacom coverage in your area, the chances are that you won't have cellc and mtn either. first check via friends who is on mtn and cellc if they have coverage in your area. Further, I had the same problem than you guys, and had been fighting with vodacom for over 3 years and I just got the same answer every time,"we are waiting for signatures". luckily where I am staying in Johannesburg, there is a couple of complexes in a 500m radius from me. In the end I mobilized almost every vodacom user in the vicinity and we end up to be around 200 people calling and emailing vodacom regarding our poor signal and drop call problems every single day. In a matter of 1 month we had a vodacom mobile site with 3G about 100m from my compex installed. 6 months after that, which is now, we got one of those nice 43mbps cellphone towers. One or two persons are not going to make a difference. The people in your area needs to stand together and complain.

  • The Goose - 2011-04-19 11:18

    48.2 Mbps MAX yes. Not average throughput.Load test's still needs to be done esp at peak times to determine how stable this throughput is. Remember.The more users, the less the throughput(mbps).Prices are sky high and uneccessary.

  • Currie_Mafia - 2011-04-19 11:18

    Vodacom's Wireless Internet is too costly... Cell C still the better option in this case..

      amos - 2011-04-19 15:25

      Cell C in the Port Shepstone area is still in the "DONKEY CART" era. Whilst ALL other networks, even the newcomer Telkom, offer 3G Cell C can offer only 2G and that too is rather erratic... don't believe all that crap they advertise

  • omgwtfnews - 2011-04-19 11:19

    vodacom is sucking.. I'm moving to the cell C "Thing"

      amos - 2011-04-19 15:21

      be careful depending on your area..Cell C in Port Shepstone is the slowest of all. ALL the networks EXCEPT Cell C have 3G [cell c 2G]

  • Twoplusthree - 2011-04-19 11:19

    Ok, so offering your new customers better data deals that what is offered to the existing customer base is ok. Stuff Vodagone,"RIPOFF"!

  • Uwe Klopfer - 2011-04-19 11:20

    vodacom can offer 1 gig per second and i still dont care. why ? my house sits in a deadspot. signal pathetic and data connection near impossible. telkom wont lay a copper connection due to cable theft. so sort out your service vodacom and ill tihnk again

  • clourens - 2011-04-19 11:24

    When you have been waiting almost a year for a Telkom 4 meg line to be installed, this is like a breath of fresh air I have the vodacom usb dongle linked in a wireless router I have had no problems other than the cost but for what you get the price is decent, Hence the reason I applied for telkom offerings wired ADSL but since its taken so long I would rather give vodacom the benefit for the bandwidth they are offering.... WHOOOSH SWOOSH there is CELL C WHAM BAM cheers there goes vodacom VODACOM:-) WELL DONE VODACOM ITS NICE TO SEE A S.A COMPANY COMPETING ON AN INTERNATIONAL MARKET you go boyz

      green_goblin - 2011-04-19 12:15

      you the vodacom rep?

      Lourens Kruger - 2011-04-19 12:53

      Remember all these numbers will always be stated as "up to 43 Mbps". Vodacom will never have the balls to guaranmtee any speeds for their 3G. So even if you get 20 bps it will still be accepted because they said up to "ridiculous unachievable speeds". Anything below this is your fault, for what ever reason they can think of.

      Xavier - 2011-04-19 15:12

      @lourensk I don't think you know how this stuff works. No service provider in the entire world will guarantee you any speed it is always up to. Further, these speeds the 43 Mbps is in bits not bytes. 8 bits = 1 byte. thus you need to divide the speed by 8 to get the speed in bytes. to know this, a b = bits and B = bytes. On your computer file sizes is shown in bytes. Thus 43Mbps is equal to 5.375 MBps thus you will download a 5 MB file just under a second. I have tested this on my 3.6Mbps 3G where I avarage around 440 kBps (after 10 at night) when I download a file, this is equal to around 3.52 Mbps download speed, thus very close to the 3.6 Mbps 3G I have. But I must say I am about 100m from the tower, and only reach these speeds when there is not a lot of people connecting to the tower. First understand how things work before talking about stuff. The same goes for other stuff i.e LCD tv's. first know the acronyms there meaning etc. The thing of all these companies are, they always go and advertise their products by giving the consumer the large number if their is one like in this case they give the speed in bits where we actually always work in bytes. But all companies all over the world is doing it, why I don't know, but it does confuse the average consumer like yourself out there.

  • Francoise - 2011-04-19 11:34

    This sounds fantastic I cant wait to run out to the store to buy your new vodacom speed stick whooooosh !!! whaaaaa! lightning fast. Listen I dont give a rats ass how fast your network is your drop rate on your network is shambolic, 3G on a vodacom network is a joke check if you can stay on 3 G for more than 7 minutes???? Fix the F-ing network and give me the service I pay for before you go braging about your so called network speed !!!!

  • sheep - 2011-04-19 11:39

    Whats the point of having a high speed network thats completely unaffordable. Congratulations Vodacom on an amazing acheivment but if you can't compete with cellC prices(and the service which is excellent) then you won't be getting my business.

      amos - 2011-04-19 15:30

      Please dont brag about Cell C .Cell C in the Port Shepstone area is still in the "DONKEY CART" era. Whilst all other networks offer 3G Cell C can offer only 2G and that too is rather erratic... don't believe all that crap they advertise

  • Kgomotso - 2011-04-19 11:40

    Unless you have a dual carrier mobile, ie. a mobile that support HSDPA from 2 radio links, you will be restricted to a max throughput of ~18.5mbps. Bottom line, this will come with a price premium as you have to get new equipment.

      Xavier - 2011-04-19 15:16

      You are correct kgomotso, and thats how they catch the average consumer by not telling them everything.

  • StinRay999 - 2011-04-19 11:41

    Vodacom is to Crap expensive. Last month my internet bill with vodacom was just over a thousand rand, and worst of all the 3g connection in Nelspruit keeps on dropping. I unfortunately need reliable internet so I have opted for the Telkom option. In doing so I get about ten times the amount of data and a lot more reliable and faster connection.

  • Thabs - 2011-04-19 11:46

    when does this come to effect? i was online the other day at home and i didn't see any changes in speed. plus this free data crap they always pull, how does it work? i bought 2 gigs friday and so when can i use my extra 2 gigs...?

      IceMan - 2011-04-19 15:47

      free data is after 12midnight only

  • Verbatim - 2011-04-19 11:48

    Vodacom pricing is still bloody criminal. R989.00 for 5 gb data? Cell C charges R299. Vodacom, keep your crap and get with the program please. Its time you realise that you cannot keep on screwing us over to line your pockets. Cell C rocks.

  • Bellakanoose - 2011-04-19 11:49

    R299 for 5 gigs on Cell C! R380 for 2 gigs on Vodacom! Do the math! Keep your speed, and your stupid night owl! Cell C rocks!

  • Lydon - 2011-04-19 11:54

    Yet further proof that Vodacom has NO idea what the general population wants/needs. What use is 43.2Mbps going to have to someone with a 2-5GB cap? Increase your caps, then we'll talk! Until then...Cell C all the way.

  • Daemos1 - 2011-04-19 11:55

    Faster nwetwork, but ther service is still horrible. Vodacom is brown...for manure

  • v3 - 2011-04-19 12:05

    Does this mean lower charges or less dropped calls or delayed SMS's?

  • - 2011-04-19 12:05

    Pah! means nothing when I can't even make a standard voice call without dropping signal every 2 mins!!

      daboss247365 - 2011-04-19 13:56

      Change the settings for voice calls to use GSM only, under network / call settings. your calls wil never drop. This stems from not enough towers on the high speed network, thats why they drop at peak times.

  • James - 2011-04-19 12:06

    If they really think people should jump up and down and be thankful for their stupid idea of Night Owl, then they really think consumers are stupid. I am using Vodacom at this point in time and the package I use costs 17c a MB, way out compared to the 3c I would pay if I go to CellC. In my area it seems that at certain times the networks gets choked as the speed slows down to a crawl, even with a Very Good connection status. I suppose the above will rectify this but their data bundles is still way out. If it wasn't for the fact that CellC does not have a 4G router with 4 port LAN available I would have already been with them but then their D105 might not be a bad option as they are way cheaper than Vodacom red, blue, green, purple or what *$@$% ever.

  • - 2011-04-19 12:14

    Interesting comments here. Am I to believe that MTN doesn't even feature in the data wars ? Very little mention of them here. Either their customers are all very happy, or, they have no customers... What gives ?

      Hlasel_amafutha - 2011-04-19 12:59

      They have no customers

  • AZB - 2011-04-19 12:28

    It is not so much the speed but the consistancy; can Vodacom supply a consistant fast internet connection? My experience to date is a loud NO Will it change? probably not

  • Lourens Kruger - 2011-04-19 13:28

    You can use the extra 2 Gigs of data between 12 am and 5 am in the mornings when everybody of course needs bandwidth. It's like giving away free beers, only problem is you may only drink them if you have alreay had 10 beers that you paid for.

  • Bev - 2011-04-19 13:32

    Battled with Vodocam connectivity for months. The whole area through the residents association tried to get them to fix the signal we where receiving (or not receiving), they could not be bothered. I went to Cell C in December and have never looked back, get good connectivity and great affordability. Doubt I will ever go back to Vodacom, based solely on their arrogance

  • amos - 2011-04-19 14:00

    Cell C in the Port Shepstone area is still in the "DONKEY CART" era. Whilst all other networks offer 3G Cell C is 2G

      Mpendulo - 2011-04-19 16:48

      Its a shame to your era but I've notised all this mega or super fast speeds only work on major cities like JHB DBN CPT only.Cell C deals rock!!!!!!!!!!

  • Interesting - 2011-04-19 14:16

    The persistence on unresaonable data caps and their price range is the main hinderance to better usage of internet services. M-web started a revolution on the fixed-line side; let's see u Voda start on e on the wireless...

  • rimmoah - 2011-04-19 14:29

    everybody is praising cellc for their fast speeds,reliability and price.the question is how many new connections can cellc handle on their super fast basestations before it bombs out?

      Xavier - 2011-04-19 15:24

      @rimmoah...reliability....cellc....uhm, I don't know that. Cellc is is crap where I live, everybody who was on cellc moved to vodacom or mtn.

  • Philosopher - 2011-04-19 14:40

    Earth to vodacom, forget the woosh, bring the price down. Nuff sed.

  • thabiso maboe - 2011-04-19 15:18

      thabiso maboe - 2011-04-19 15:18

      Read all about it... Fact or Fiction?

  • daje - 2011-04-19 18:05

    One positive aspect of life on this godforsaken muddy outcrop called the UK is an uninterrupted uncapped 100 MBps connection for 7,50 pounds a month!

  • daashcroft - 2011-04-19 18:24

    2 things that a lot of people here are picking up. 1. So now I can burn through my measly 3GB(sorry, I'm not a vampire) even faster than ever. 2. How about fixing the basic Vodacom telephony first?

  • For Good - 2011-05-23 16:25

    I am on Cell C for quite some time. I just had my second modem connnected. I am happy, it works great, and also be happy to be away from the arrogance of the VOODOOcom system.

  • Carl Muller - 2011-06-08 18:18

    Unauthorised item on my VODACOM ACCOUNT!!!!!!!!! I have received my Vodacom account with an unauthorised item on it. Content Services - R194.40 R27.22 - total R 221.62 I did not request it. Yet when I phoned VODACOM today they said I will not get a credit and I must cancel it from a certain supplier. According to Vodacom I requested it.

  • Carl Muller - 2011-06-08 18:19

    Unauthorised item on my VODACOM ACCOUNT!!!!!!!!! I have received my Vodacom account with an unauthorised item on it. Content Services - R194.40 R27.22 - total R 221.62 I did not request it. Yet when I phoned VODACOM today they said I will not get a credit and I must cancel it from a certain supplier. According to Vodacom I requested it.

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