South Africa - Neotel trialing LTE
Neotel is currently trialing various broadband technologies with the aim of improving their broadband offerings, including LTE and fibre.
“We are trialing various technologies including LTE, both fibre and wireless, as part of the continual improvement of broadband services to our customers,” Neotel said in response to questions about their LTE plans.
“LTE is regarded globally as the successor technology to all current 3G technologies, including CDMA [which Neotel is currently using for their NeoFlex and NeoConnect services].”
Neotel’s Angus Hay told MyBroadband that their trial network currently covers the Midrand area.
Neotel joins Vodacom, MTN, Cell C and 8ta in trialing LTE, but Neotel is in the privileged position to be in possession of valuable 800MHz spectrum which is suitable for LTE deployments.
Vodacom was the first company to trial LTE in South Africa, showing speeds exceeding 100Mbps using this technology at their Midrand campus.
MTN currently has the largest LTE trial network with 100 live LTE sites using re-farmed 1800MHz spectrum. The company previously said that the only thing keeping them back from launching commercial services is a lack of spectrum.
8ta is also actively trialing LTE. “As the specified upgrade path for a 3GPP network is LTE, it is prudent to consider this as an option in terms of 8.ta’s own evolutionary path,” said Amith Maharaj, senior managing executive at Telkom Mobile.