Rain explains why it does not offer mobile 5G

Rain launched South Africa’s first commercial 5G service to the public in November 2019, initially offering customers unlimited data for R1,000 per month.

In July, it expanded its 5G offering to Cape Town, and it now claims to offer the widest 5G coverage in South Africa.

Currently, the company offers two packages – a Standard 5G package for R699 per month, and a Premium 5G package for R999 per month.

The Standard package offers speeds capped at 30Mbps and supports a single HD video stream, while Premium offers no speed limitations and multiple HD+ quality streams.

However, while Vodacom and MTN both offer mobile 5G options – including deals for 5G smartphones and 5G data – Rain still only offers fixed 5G to its customers.

Rain’s 5G products are therefore positioned to compete with Fixed-LTE, ADSL and fibre rather than mobile LTE products.

MyBroadband asked Rain about this strategy, and specifically why it does not offer mobile 5G connectivity.

Fixed 5G is the best opportunity for Rain

Rain chief marketing officer Khaya Dlanga said that fixed 5G is the best option right now for Rain, as it is the market that needs 5G most.

“The best opportunity at present for 5G is fixed because that is where the greatest need for not only fast connectivity but to connect multiple devices in a home or small business,” said Dlanga.

“Lockdown has also demonstrated the need for fast home Internet because in homes, parents might be in different parts of the house on video conferencing calls while the children are online, e-learning.”

Dlanga noted that fixed 5G allows multiple devices in the home to connect to the Internet without compromising on speed.

Dlanga also said that 5G serves as a great alternative to fibre.

“Most of South Africa does not have access to fibre,” said Dlanga.

“With Rain 5G, if one is in 5G coverage in Gauteng or Cape Town, they can simply order any of Rain’s 5G products and plug play without having to wait for weeks or days for a fibre company to do it for them.”

Future plans

Rain said that while it currently only offers fixed 5G broadband products, this strategy could change in accordance with the needs of customers as these new situations arise.

While its product range may not include mobile 5G at the moment, Dlanga claimed Rain has the best 5G networks in South Africa.

“Not only does Rain have the widest 5G coverage in Gauteng, two weeks ago, Rain launched the widest 5G coverage in Cape Town,” said Dlanga.

“Rain’s 5G coverage continues to expand both in Gauteng and Cape Town with plans to expand to Durban in the next few months.”

Now read: South Africa’s top ISPs reveal the impact of the lockdown on their businesses

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Rain explains why it does not offer mobile 5G