Several telecom operators in South Africa launched their 5G services in 2020. Vodafone commercially launched services in Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Cape Town in May 2020 and plans to extend its 5G services to other South African cities.
MTN launched 5G services in major cities in South Africa in June 2020, following the issuance of emergency spectrum in the 700/800MHz, 2.6GHz and 3.5GHz frequency bands in April 2020.
In September 2020, telecom regulator ICASA published an invitation for bidders to submit their applications for the Wireless Open Access Network (WOAN) and the IMT spectrum in the country.
The regulator plans to award 60MHz of spectrum (2×30MHz) in the 700MHz band, 60MHz (2×30MHz) in the 800MHz band, 40MHz in the 2.3GHz band, 170MHz in the 2.6GHz band, and 116MHz in the 3.5GHz band by the end of March 2021. The new spectrum auction is expected to further stimulate the uptake of 5G services in the country.