Vodacom South Africa launches HSPA+ network

South Africa’s biggest carrier, Vodacom, has announced the launch of its HSPA+ network. Following the upgrade of 1,000 base stations in the country’s major cities, the carrier is now offering speeds of up to 43.2Mbps and says that this latest development clears the path for 86.4Mbps. According to Vodacom, a further 1,000 3G towers will be added to the telco’s current crop of 4,200 this financial year.

The announcement comes in the midst of intense competition between Vodacom and third-placed rival Cell-C, which is due to launch its high-speed network in the 900Mhz band on Tuesday. Vodacom, which operates in the 2.1GHz band, has previously cited spectrum scarcity as an inhibitor of the carrier’s expansion plans, causing it to focus on smart, capacity-oriented upgrades within existing constraints. Vodacom SA has said that it plans to cover 90 per cent of the country within the next three years;  40 per cent are currently able to access the upgraded service.

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