Rain took the broadband market by storm in 2019 when it announced its uncapped 5G fixed-wireless offering.
Priced at only R1,000 per month, the service delivers up to 700Mbps download speeds and low latency, making it ideal for home Internet users.
This is true whether you are in an area with fibre coverage or not, as the price tag of Rain’s 5G product is cheaper than most 100Mbps deals from fibre ISPs.
MyBroadband asked Rain about its plans for 2020, and CEO Willem Roos said that the company has big plans to expand its network next year.
This will allow it to offer improved coverage and capacity for its mobile and fixed-wireless plans.
“Our focus in 2020 will be to expand our 4G and 5G network coverage size,” Roos told MyBroadband.
Rain grows its 4G and 5G networks in separate ways, with the former being built out by Vodacom while the latter is managed entirely in-house.
“For a large part of our 4G towers, the day-to-day managing of the sites is outsourced to Vodacom,” Roos previously told MyBroadband. “For our 5G towers, that is all done internally.”
The majority of Rain’s revenue comes from its roaming agreement with Vodacom, and the expansion and management of its 4G network are essentially outsourced to the mobile operator.
When it comes to 5G, however, Rain said that it wants to build out its network in a big way and compete directly with fibre operators across the country.
“Currently Rain has 3,200 4G sites, and we have 250 5G sites,” Roos said. “In terms of 4G sites, the Rain network is probably larger than Cell C’s, and probably approaching the size of Telkom’s network – the scale is significant.”
He said that by the end of 2020, Rain plans to have 5,000 4G sites and 700 5G sites in South Africa.
“Our initial 5G network of 250 sites already ‘passes’ 500,000 households. That’s almost an equal size to the two largest fibre network operators in the country.”