Vodafone Fiji is laying the ground work for the fifth generation mobile network.
Acting chief executive Ronald Prasad says the 5G network is the next telecommunications standard beyond the current 4G+.
Prasad says in September last year the trailing of Pre5G was undertaken with results of a data transfer rate of 1 gigabit per second.
He adds once the backend work is completed the 5G network will be available to customers by the next 12-18 months.
The acting chief executive says when the 5G network goes lives, customers will have to upgrade their smartphones.
“Obviously when moving from 4G to 5G, the handsets will need to be able to support the technology, only then will they be able to experience that and as you know these days the handsets don’t last no more than a year or 18 months. This is not because the handsets can be used any further but because the handset manufacturers are coming up with devices every six months. So we don’t see that as a big issue but what we have also been able to do is provide a lot of value to our customers in terms of providing 4G and 4G+ handsets at $199 that is quite unprecedented for Fiji.”
Prasad says a similar practice was carried out when customers had to migrate from the 3G to 4G network.
He adds 96% of Fiji’s population is on the 3G network while 80% is within the 4G coverage areas.