MyBroadband readers have complained that their Rain 5G services are suffering from connectivity issues and outages.
One reader who lives in the Centurion area told MyBroadband that they had been without any service on their Rain 5G package since 10 February.
Several Rain agents reportedly confirmed that the 5G tower the reader was attempting to connect to was offline, but they could not provide an update on when it would come online again.
Finally, one agent said on 14 February that downtime was still expected to last “another week or two”.
The reader argued that while Rain says on its website that load-shedding can cause outages at certain sites, it does not say that these towers will remain offline for such long periods of time.
They also complained they were unable to fall back onto 4G – meaning that customers in the area had no connectivity for this period.
Another reader from a different area also complained about a poor Rain 5G connection.
According to this reader, their connectivity had been poor since December, but the mobile network did not fix the issue for months.
They added that the last time they had contacted Rain, they were told that it was doing maintenance on affected sites.
The reader said that Rain fixed the issue, but added that load-shedding seemed to be having a significant impact on Rain’s 5G service.
Rain spokesperson Khaya Dlanga acknowledged the network’s 5G issues.
“As we have mentioned in the past, load shedding is causing issues,” said Dlanga.
Dlanga added that the network is still in its infancy, which could account for some problems.
“As the 5G network is new, we do experience teething problems and we try and resolve them as soon as we can.”
Rain said it would investigate the incidents described above and rectify them as soon as possible.
Fallback and load-shedding issues
Rain CEO Willem Roos previously told MyBroadband that Rain’s 5G towers do not have large backup batteries to continue functioning during load-shedding.
The batteries they do have are there to enable the smooth shutting down of its base stations during load-shedding, and Roos confirmed that Rain’s 5G services do not work when the power is out.
Roos said the reason for this is the cost of the necessary hardware.
“It would substantially increase the cost of providing the service, and given that we do have 4G backup in these areas, we believe this strategy achieves the best balance of ensuring connectivity at affordable cost,” said Roos.
However, some MyBroadband readers have complained that when they fall back onto 4G during load-shedding, their connection becomes almost unusable.
One reader said they could get “barely any throughput for normal Internet tasks”.
Another complained that they could not open YouTube after falling back onto 4G and said their experience equated to “using a 56k dial-up modem”.
This is in contrast to Rain’s 5G service when there is no load-shedding, the reader said, when they get speeds well above 400Mbps.