Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Excellent Video / Gaming Experience on 4G has set High Expectations for 5G in Austria

Austria’s very competitive mobile market is dominated by the three operators:
  • 3 (Drei) Austria (Orange and "3" merged in 2013 into one network and the Orange brand name was dropped, but still two different "3" networks are shown when you make a scan).
  • Magenta Telekom (T-Mobile was rebranded to Magenta Telekom in May 2019 as a result of the merger with the cable-company UPC.) 
  • Telekom Austria’s own unit A1. 
However, the market also benefits from a growing number of new entrants in the MVNO sector, which collectively have about 7% of the market by subscribers. The growth in the MVNO sector is partly due to regulatory concessions by which 3 Austria, as a condition of its take-over of Orange Austria, was obliged to provide a third of its network capacity to support up to 16 MVNOs.

Mobile coverage is excellent for a country with difficult topography and similar to Switzerland on a very high level. In 4G/LTE all three networks cover more than 98%. This survey follows the historical order mostly used in the country and is no ranking. 5G/NR was launched on all three networks in 2019/2020 but isn't open to pre-paid customers for now.

The competitive environment has led to relatively low ARPU for operators, as well as some of the region’s lowest tariffs for consumers. The operators’ LTE networks have benefited from regulatory measures which have allowed operators to refarm existing 2G and 3G spectrum for LTE, while spectrum in the 700MHz has also been set aside for mobile broadband use once this band is released from broadcasters.

In March 2019, the regulator concluded an auction of spectrum in the 3.4-3.6Hz range to be used for 5G services. Investment among MNOs has been focussed on 5G, and by early 2020 5G services were available in a large number of localities. A multi-spectrum auction was planned for mid-2020 including the sale of the 700MHz, 1500MHz and 2100MHz bands however this has been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Drei Austria (called 'drei' spoken like 'dry' for 3) used to be the smallest network in the country until they bought Orange and merged in 2013 to become a very competitive player. 4G/LTE is on 1800 MHz (B3) and 2100 MHz (B1) nationwide as well as 900MHz (B8), 2600 MHz (B7) & 2600 MHz (TDD B38) in some areas and covers already 98% of population.

Their market share is now on par with T-Mobile and network coverage and speeds are on par with A1 in 2017 on a high level. In the meantime, Drei has opened 4G/LTE for most of their prepaid plans. They offer the lowest rates of any network operator. 3 offers domestic roaming with the "3-AT" (Magenta 2G) network.

 Drei ended last year with approximately 100 5G base stations across the country. Some of the cities in which the operator provides 5G are Linz, Pörtschach, Wörgl, Leoben, as well as in parts of Graz and Vienna.

At ZTE’s Global Wireless User Congress and 5G Summit, the Chinese vendor and Drei Austria also jointly demonstrated what they claim is the industry’s first end-to-end network slicing operation. One smart bionic mechanical dog equipped with 5G CPE for a data connection showed different potential application scenarios, such as rescuing, security patrol and guarding home. Together with 8k UHD video, drone and high-speed download services, a panoramic view of the future life with 5G was shaped (see video above).

Deutsche Telekom rebranded T-Mobile Austria to the Magenta brand in May 2019. The new operator is called Magenta Telekom and is considered to have good coverage within the country on 4G, GSM and UMTS, slightly behind A1 and Drei, but still on a generally high level. 4G/LTE is available on 800 MHz (B20) nationwide except for some bigger cities, 1800 MHz (B3) for smaller and bigger cities, 2100 MHz (B1) in more and more places as well as 2600 MHz (B7) in bigger cities. It covers 97% of the population in 2019.

T-Mobile Austria spent 57 million euros at the Austrian spectrum auction and launched 5G services in March 2019, activating the first 25 5G base stations, primarily in rural regions. And announced around a billion euros in total between 2018 and 2021 to guarantee that Austria has a powerful broadband infrastructure, both mobile and landline.

T-Mobile is already offering 5G coverage at over 600 locations across the country, the operator said in a release. Their 5G coverage currently reaches around 25% of the country’s households and businesses.T-Mobile Austria expects to deploy 5G in 1,200 locations in all federal provinces by the end of this year, resulting in a nationwide coverage of 40%.

A1 Telekom Austria is still the biggest telecommunication provider in the country with a very high standard. 4G/LTE is available on 800 MHz (B20) nationwide, 1800 MHz (B3) in smaller and bigger cities as well as 2600 MHz (B7) in bigger cities, covering 98% of population in 2019.

A1 had commercially launched its 5G services in January 2020. At the time of the launch, the carrier said its 5G network will cover 350 locations across 129 municipalities in Austria. The operator claimed its “A1 5Giganetwork” will be the largest 5G network in Austria, spanning 54,000 square kilometer. A1 had acquired 5G spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band in March 2019.

According to the most recent Open Signal report on Austria the mobile network experience shows that the country’s mobile experience is very mature, with users seeing high 4G Availability in excess of 90% and fast sub-35ms latencies. Download speeds are also impressive, ranging from 46.8 Mbps for users on A1 to 29.2 Mbps on Magenta, while users across all three networks have observed an Excellent Video Experience.

Mobile gaming has become increasingly important to operators, with many of them, including 3, looking to cloud gaming as a use for the latest 5G networks. Opensignal’s latest metric, Games Experience is a measure of how mobile users experience real-time multiplayer mobile gaming on an operator’s network. 

Users on all three of Austria’s nationwide networks observed a Good Games Experience. This means most users deemed the experience acceptable. It also indicates that the gameplay experience is generally controllable and the user receives immediate feedback between their actions and the outcomes in the game. Most users did not experience a delay between their actions and the game.

All three of Austria’s nationwide operators have launched 5G and while it will take some time for it to be rolled out across the country, it will be interesting to see what further improvements greater 5G  availability brings to the Austrian mobile network experience.

Thursday, 30 July 2020

Luxembourg Operators Getting Ready for 5G Rollouts

There are three physical mobile network operators serving Luxembourg:

Post Telecom (formerly LUXGSM, state-owned), Tango (owned by Belgacom), Orange (formerly VOXmobile, owned by Orange Belgium, part of the French Orange Group).

The largest operator is Post Telecom Luxembourg, it has the best coverage in the country and a market share of more than 50%. In recent years the Post has concentrated on cloud and managed services, as well as on offering bundled packages. The operator offers a 100Mb/s service nationally, while the footprint of its 1Gb/s service is making gains in line with the government’s program to provide a 1Gb/s service to all citizens by the end of 2020, and to make Luxembourg the first fully fibred country in Europe. The company also offers broadband based on technology, primarily aimed at apartment buildings.

Created in January 2019, Proximus Luxembourg SA brings together the Tango and Telindus brands under one umbrella. Both brands operate jointly to meet all the telecommunications needs of Luxembourg's residential and business customers. Tango offers fixed and mobile telephony, Internet and television services to residential customers and small businesses, while Telindus provides ICT and fixed and mobile telecommunication services to medium-sized and large companies as well as public administrations.

Tango is the leading alternative mobile operator in Luxembourg and appeals to customers that prefer clarity and simplicity. The company services almost 300,000 users and boasts reliable coverage across most of the country. If you are staying in the major cities of Luxembourg Tango is a good option although only have 2G and 3G coverage. Signal strength can also drop of in some areas.

Telindus Luxembourg and Tango Luxembourg have recently acquired frequencies in the 700MHz and 3600MHz bands in order to deploy their own 5G network.

Orange is the smallest operator in Luxembourg with a market share of only 15%, but according to network tests quite on par with the other providers what coverage and speed are concerned.

Orange also has excellent coverage, servicing 99% of the country on 2G and 3G, but also has a major percentage of the country covered on 4G as well – 94.7%. Only Post Luxembourg can top that.

In our earlier post, we looked at 5G Spectrum auction results. As a result of all the main operators obtaining 5G spectrum, we will see 5G rollouts soon.

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Sunday, 26 July 2020

Luxembourg Gets 5G Spectrum

Luxembourg, the only grand duchy still in existence, started the 5G spectrum auction on 13 July and ended five days later after 38 rounds of bidding.

The Department of Media, Telecommunications and Digital Policy (Services des Medias et des Communications, SMC) announced that four bidders have secured 5G frequencies in the recent 700MHz and 3600MHz spectrum auction, paying a total of EUR 41.3 million.

Luxembourg is one of the smallest countries in Europe, and ranked 167th in size of all the 194 independent countries of the world; the country is about 2,586 square kilometres (998 sq mi) in size, and measures 82 km (51 mi) long and 57 km (35 mi) wide but it is the second richest country in the world and has the highest minimum wage in the EU.

The auction results were as follows:

700 MHz band:
  • Orange Communications Luxembourg SA: 2x10 MHz
  • Post Luxembourg: 2x10 MHz
  • Proximus Luxembourg SA: 2x10 MHz

3600 MHz band:
  • Luxembourg Online SA: 10 MHz
  • Orange Communications Luxembourg SA: 110 MHz
  • Post Luxembourg: 110 MHz
  • Proximus Luxembourg SA: 100 MHz

Comms Update reports that the 15-year licences, which are renewable at least once for a period of five years, are subject to a number of coverage obligations which aim to ensure 5G services are available in the Luxembourg municipality by the end of 2020 and nationwide no later than 2025.

We will now have to wait and see how quickly does 5G roll out in Luxembourg!

Thursday, 23 July 2020

France is Eagerly Waiting for 5G to Arrive

France has the third largest telecoms market in Europe, worth approximately €31 billion annually. The incumbent telco Orange Group is one of the world’s major players operating in markets across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The company is embarked on a multi-year investment program with an emphasis on fibre-based broadband and mobile infrastructure based on 5G.

The mobile phone market, worth about €13 billion annually, is dominated by Orange, SFR Group (owned by Altice Group), Bouygues Telecom and Free Mobile. Services(by Iliad) based on LTE have near universal coverage, while operators have undertaken extensive 5G trials and are looking to launch commercial services in the second half of 2020. This timing is being supported by the auction of spectrum in a range of bands.

Regarding spectrum 2G (= GSM, GPRS, EDGE) is on 900 and 1800 MHz, 3G (= UMTS, HSPA, HSPA+ and DC-HSPA+) is on 900 and 2100 MHz. The 4 MNOs have rolled out their 4G/LTE nationwide. 800 MHz (B20) mostly in the countryside, 1800 MHz (B3) and 2600 MHz (B7) in the cities are used. 700 MHz (B28) is progressively being added after digital TV has left. From 2017 the 2100 MHz band (B1) is also used for LTE.

Competition among the MNOs and a large number of MVNOs caused mobile services revenue to fall steadily until 2017, since when growth has been low but steady. Pressure on revenue has encouraged operators to look to convergence and bundled services, and so expand their offerings beyond mobile voice and data.

France also has one of the largest broadband subscriber bases in Europe. Growth in recent years has been bolstered by demand for high bandwidth services, which has prompted considerable investment in fibre infrastructure among telcos and regional governments. DSL still dominates the broadband market in terms of access lines, though the number of DSL lines is falling as customers are migrated to fibre infrastructure. Fibre deployments have grown substantially in recent years, with all of the major ISPs concentrating their investments in the platform with a view to promoting 1Gb/s services. There efforts have been encouraged by the regulator which is keen to see effective competition in fibre access.

Orange S.A., formerly France Télécom S.A., is a French multinational telecommunications corporation. Previously France Télécom was the French public operator. Nowadays it is still the market leader with the best coverage (94% of population in 4G/LTE as of October 2017) and the most subscribers, including extensive coverage of tourist areas (beaches / ski resorts) and transport corridors (high speed train lines, motorways). 4G/LTE is accessible for all prepaid plans. (See also Open Signal report findings below).

Orange has recently pushed its multi-service operator strategy after striking a deal with insurance player Groupama to create Protectline, a new home surveillance company for the French market. It  has also launched a mobile banking offer, through Orange Bank, and developed its own smart speaker as it looks at ways to diversify beyond traditional telecoms services

Orange have selected vendors Nokia and Ericsson to deploy its 5G network in home market France, as Huawei continued to face scrutiny about the security of its equipment in Europe. Orange explained it had chosen the vendors after months of testing, with both contracted to provide a package of products and services to enable deployment of 5G across France. However this has been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

SFR is historically the second network in France and one of the biggest rivals of Orange. It used to belong to Vivendi, but has been sold to the company Altice. It has good coverage nationwide in 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE coverage is slightly less than Orange (see Basics). SFR is the local partner of Vodafone in France, but there is still no international data roaming on any SFR prepaid products.

Bouygues Télécom is the 3rd largest network operator in France in term of subscribers. Unlike the other players, its 4G/LTE is mainly on 1800 MHz (and to a lesser extent 2600 MHz and 800 MHz) open for all prepaid users (coverage map). In October 2017 they cover 94% of population by LTE.

Free Mobile shook the French market when it arrived on the scene in 2012 with very low prices and new marketing methods. Over the years Free Mobile kept adding more content to their main package "Forfait Free", such as large allowances of data, or included roaming agreements. With more than 65 destinations included worldwide, they may offer good options for travellers. But be aware of the SIM card can only be bought and activated in France and can't be paused.

Regarding performance and coverage Orange managed to scoop all there Open signal awards in their recent report for these measures of the mobile experience — Video Experience, Games Experience, Voice App Experience — along with three other awards: Download Speed Experience, Upload Speed Experience and 4G Coverage Experience. The only one of the awards that it failed to win was 4G Availability, where SFR and Bouygues tied for first place.

French mobile subscribers seeking a big leap in the quality of their experience will need to be patient, given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The French spectrum regulator, ARCEP, announced back in April that it has postponed the auction of 5G spectrum in the valuable 3.4-3.8 GHz band, due to the crisis. Given the after shock of Free Mobile’s disruptive market entry in early 2012 with extremely low pricing, it will be interesting to see how French operators embrace 5G. Will they seek to differentiate on network quality? Or will France’s operators use 5G’s arrival to herald a new price war that hinders network investment and damages users’ mobile experience as a result? Once the 5G spectrum auction happens, we will see early signs of how this will develop.

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Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Central African Republic (CAR) to get more 3G, Open RAN and possibly some 4G

Persistent conflict has hampered telecommunication and media development in the Central African Republic. Potential  for growth is significant as the penetration rate remains low, (lowest penetration rate in Central Africa with 22%), and still affected by the country’s challenges such strong inflation and infrastructure deficiency due to the conflict.

Due to the fact that it is a landlocked country there is no scope investment in broadband networks and access to cross-border submarine cables. Mobile, however, is more optimistic with a reasonable level of competition, given the challenges.

There are four mobile operators in the country; MOOV, which launched in 2005 and is a subsidiary of Morocco Telecom; TELECEL, the oldest operator in the market, having launched in 1996, a subsidiary of South Africa-headquartered Econet:Wireless, AZUR, which launched in 2004 and is owned by a private Congolese group;and Orange, the latest market entrant, launched in 2007, a subsidiary of Orange France.

According to data collected directly from mobile operators and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, as of April 2019, the total number of active mobile telephone subscribers in the Central African Republic is 1,228,554 for an estimated population of 4.5 million. This represents a penetration rate of about 27 percent. According to this data, Telecel, which covers about 60 cities (the 50 percent of the market share), is the largest mobile network provider with 618,391 active subscribers, followed by Orange with 501,181 (in about 50 cities), Moov with 65,588 and Azur with 43,394.

Moov operates 2G GSM services over the 900 MHz band. Currently no 3G UMTS or 4G LTE services are available. The company began operations in 2005 then owned by Atlantic Telecom, only to be acquired by Etisalat shortly after. In 2014 Maroc Telecom took over Etisalat's West African operations comprising of its subsidiaries in Benin, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Niger, the Central African Republic and Togo.

Telecel Centrafrique is operating since 1996 and operates 2G GSM services over the 900 MHz band and 3G UMTS over B1 (2100 MHz). The company is the first and oldest mobile carrier in the country. Then owner Orascom (controlled by GTH/Vimpelcom), initiated a sale of Telecel to Niel Telecom in 2013 only for the deal to fall through due to inadequate financing. Orascom finalised the sale in October 2014 to Econet Wireless.

Azur RCA is a mobile carrier owned by Congolese businessman Jean Bruno Obambi (previously Bintel), operating in the Central African Republic (Centrafrique). Azur also present in Gabon, Congo, and Somaliland (under the NationLink brand). The company began operations in June 2004 operating under the NationLink Telecom name, and today has about 85,000 subscribers across 18 cities of the CAR. The company's Centrafrique headquarters is located in Bangui. The company operates 2G GSM services over the 900 MHz band, and 3G UMTS (HSPA+) over the B1 (2100 MHz) band. Due to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the CAR, groups such as Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) have been assisting local carriers with maintenance and repair.

Orange Centrafrique is the second largest mobile carrier and the most recent company to join the market. The company operates 2G GSM services over the 900 and 1800 MHz bands, and launched 3G UMTS over the B1 (2100 MHz) band in 2013, with coverage mainly limited to urban areas. It has provided the four main cities of the country with mobile data services through its positioning in offers to companies, organizations and international military forces. In addition, Orange is the only operator to provide mobile payment services since it launched its Orange Money offer in 2016. Orange also provides WiMAX services in some regions.

According to Mobile World Live, Orange Centrafrique became the latest operator to throw weight behind Open RAN technology, inking a deal with vendor Parallel Wireless and infrastructure company i engineering group to deploy software-based networking equipment for its unit in the Central African Republic.

The agreement is part of Orange’s Include Digital in Every African Life (IDEAL) scheme, which aims to provide access to digital services to unconnected users across its African footprint.

A statement from Parallel Wireless suggested the small country of Central African Republic (its population is less than 5 million) will be the first of a number of open RAN deployments for Orange in Africa.

Orange MEA CTIO Herve Suquet said the use of virtualisation, open RAN and automation would help the company in its ambition to lead the Central African Republic market.

It plans to provide voice, data and mobile money services already available in urban parts of the country to rural areas.

A software-based approach to the network is partly intended to ease expansion and introduction of new services.

“Being able to run 2G and 3G on the same system today and, as our customers upgrade their devices to 4G in the future, seamlessly upgrade to 4G will help us not only extend our initial investment, but also bring new services much faster,” Suquet said.

Saturday, 18 July 2020

BT UK's Journey to Automation

ETSI's Centre for Testing and Interoperability and the OSM community organized a OSM Hackfest on 1-4 June 2020. The event was run remotely, allowing participants to join the hands-on sessions from home. All videos and slides from the event are available here.

Peter Willis, Senior Manager Software Based Networks Applied Research, BT spoke about BT's Journey to Automation.

BT has deployed an NFV Infrastructure in the UK, using Canonical OpenStack and Juniper Contrail, which will run BT's 5G services intially but grow to support a multitude of BT's network services. This platform will be the foundation for BT's strategic automation initiatives meanwhile BT has many tactical network automation initiatives, many using open source components, plus several Orchestration initiatives, that need to be brought together in concert.

Video is embedded below and slides are available here.

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Thursday, 16 July 2020

High Data Prices in South Africa means Great 4G coverage but Poor Subscription Rates

South Africa may well have one of the most advanced telecom infrastructures on the African continent. There is has been considerable investment from  municipal providers as well as from mobile network operators all aimed at improving network capabilities. The focus in recent years has been on backhaul capacity and on fibre and LTE networks to extend and improve internet service connectivity.

South Africa has 4 network operators: Vodacom, MTN, Cell C and Telkom (formely 8ta).The 900 MHz and 1800 MHz frequencies deliver 2G for all operators with 3G offered on 900 MHz and 2100 MHz except for Telkom using 850 MHz. 4G/LTE was launched in 2012 on 1800 (B3) MHz in major centres by Vodacom and MTN and more recently on 2300 MHz (TD-LTE, B40) and 1800 MHz (B3) on Telkom and 2100 MHz (B1) and 1800 MHz (B3) on Cell C.

So basically the telecom landscape is characterised by a duopoly where Vodacom and MTN command more than 70 per cent of the market share by connections. Market penetration of mobile connections stands at more than 165 per cent, smartphone penetration at 60 per cent of total connections and 4G population coverage at 95 per cent in 2020. However, 4G only accounts for 30 per cent of total mobile connections. The high data tariffs, which  result in consumers purchasing either short term or limited data bundles, have resulted in low 4G uptake. Also a large part of the South African population is digitally illiterate, having limited or no understanding of basic aspects of digital such as connectivity, devices and skills. Some industry sources estimate the number at 80 per cent. Lower digital literacy rates further discourages the uptake of LTE services.


Lack of adequate spectrum in the market is argued to be the contributor to high data tariffs. In the absence of adequate spectrum, operators have to invest more in existing bands to densify and increase the coverage.

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic (accompanied by lockdowns and remote working) resulted in surging in data traffic globally. For its part, South African operators like Vodacom experienced 40 per cent growth in data traffic, while MTN experienced 56 per cent growth from February to April.

To ease congestion and create capacity for new data traffic requirements, the South African telecoms regulator ICASA announced a temporary allocation of spectrum in various bands (700MHz, 800MHz, 2300MHz, 2.6GHz, and 3.5GHz) until November. Vodacom leveraged the opportunity to launch its 5G services on the 3.5GHz spectrum in several cities. MTN followed the move and launched on the last day of the quarter adopting a dynamic spectrum sharing model in various frequencies (700MHz, 2100MHz, 3.5GHz and 28GHz).

Due to the 4G experience in the market and the challenges of data costs and digital literacy it is expected that consumer 5G uptake will be slow and only account for only 8 per cent of the total mobile connections by 2025.

Vodacom is the biggest mobile provider in South Africa and is 50% owned by UK-based Vodafone. It’s the market leader with the most customers, a good coverage at the highest prices.

Vodacom launched Africa’s first standards-based, commercial 5G service in Lesotho in August 2018 using 3.5 GHz spectrum. They have also demonstrated the same network capabilities at an event in South Africa, using a temporary test spectrum license in the 3.5 GHz band. Apparently their network is 5G-ready and it will launch 5G services in South Africa as soon it gains access to the required spectrum.

MTN is the main rival of Vodacom. MTN launched 4G/LTE in 2014 and covers 90% of population in 2018. MTN is the only provider that roams in Swaziland, if you should travel there.

MTN has recently won the Open Signal Video Experience and Download Speed Experience awards  which the operator tied with Vodacom in August 2019  and has now tied Upload Speed Experience and Latency Experience — which MTN was losing to Vodacom six months ago. MTN has also retained the lead in 4G Availability. On the other hand, Vodacom won the two new metrics — Voice App Experience and 4G Coverage Experience.

MTN has also made significant improvements across the board, taking the lead in three of the seven award metrics. Vodacom also showed improvements, but the operator has conceded ground to MTN across all of the metrics that are present in both this report and our previous one, with the distance between the two operators changing in the favor of MTN. Telkom and Cell C are still lagging behind, but showed improvements across all of these metrics, save for Cell C in 4G Availability, which saw the operator’s score decreasing by 1.5 percentage points.

MTN South Africa has also trialled various cases of 5G in cooperation with Ericsson and Huawei, which the company said showed great promise for mobile and fixed solutions. During these trials, MTN demonstrated downlink speeds of up to 1.6 Gbps and uplink speeds of up to 520 Mbps. MTN South Africa has also successfully launched a live 5G indoor solution at Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit and International Convention Centre.The mobile operator has already rolled out 5G sites on existing spectrum where they don’t interfere with other deployed systems.

Cell C is the 3rd operator in South Africa. It claims to cover 98% of population, but still has gaps in certain areas. Cell C started a price war in 2011 by undercutting its rivals, but most operators now offer comparable price plans. Cell C is only cheaper when you use their confusing portfolio of bonuses.

Cell C used to roam on the Vodacom network outside areas of their own coverage for free, but this applied to 2G and 3G only, not to 4G/LTE. In 2018 Cell C announced it has entered into a far-reaching roaming agreement with MTN in order to complement Cell C's own mobile network. The agreement will see MTN providing both 3G and 4G services to Cell C in areas where Cell C has chosen to purchase coverage rather than self-build, mainly outside of the main metro areas.

4G/LTE was rolled out in Gauteng and Durban on 2100 MHz (B1) to be spread to 1800 MHz (B3) in other centers of the country. After the new roaming deal with MTN Cell C says its network service offering is at 99% 2G coverage, 96% 3G coverage and 80% 4G/LTE coverage of the population.

Finally Telkom is a South African-based telecommunication company and the fourth network in the country. It entered the market in 2010 and was called '8ta' before, but has been rebranded into Telkom. It offers the lowest rates for data in the country of any network operator while it coverage is less too.

While it has limited coverage, mainly in the cities, it currently roams on the 2G and 3G networks of MTN, but not on MTN's 4G/LTE. Telkom's 4G/LTE is on the rare TD-LTE 2300 MHz (B40).

In November 2018 Telkom signed a new roaming agreement with Vodacom. Telkom customers will be able to roam on Vodacom's 2G, 3G and 4G networks from 2019. Telkom has had a roaming agreement in place with MTN for 2G and 3G services and will conduct a phased transition from the current roaming agreement. This process will concluded in June 2019 when its contract with MTN expired. Telkom South Africa has announced that it plans to switch off its 2G network nationwide at the end of 2019.

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