Rain’s new Unlimited Home 5G Basic service, which costs R499 per month, is an excellent option for people who want an affordable, uncapped broadband service for their home.
This was MyBroadband’s finding after we tested the product in a real-world environment to assess its performance.
Rain introduced its new Unlimited Home 5G Basic service in mid-September as part of an initiative to make 5G accessible to more South Africans.
“At R499, Unlimited Home 5G Basic lowers the barrier to entry for new customers and allows existing 4G home customers to migrate to 5G,” said Rain CEO Brandon Leigh.
Rain’s new entry-level 5G service caps speeds to 25Mbps and limits video streaming quality to 720p.
Rain also has an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) which gives it the right to take necessary steps to prevent improper or excessive usage to protect the integrity of its network.
It may limit throughput and prevent or limit service through specific ports or communication protocols.
It can also throttle data traffic directed towards peer-to-peer sites or uses torrent applications between 05:00 and 23:00.
To see how Rain’s Unlimited Home 5G Basic service performs in real-world conditions, MyBroadband purchased the products through Rain’s website to put it through its paces.
Ordering the product was a breeze. You fill in your details and create an account on the Rain website, order the package you prefer, and you pre-pay for your first month.
Shortly afterwards, we were contacted by the courier, letting us know that we need to have a valid ID and proof of residence for RICA purposes when they deliver your package.
They also arrange a time and date for delivery while verifying the delivery address.
We placed our order on Friday, 17 September, and received the package on Tuesday, 21 September, exactly as the courier promised.
Everything was neatly packed and easy to access, which made the unboxing experience pleasant.
The free-to-use ZTE 5G was already set up. We only needed to insert the SIM card and switch on the router to be connected.
In less than a minute after switching the router on, we had Internet access.
It was time to see how Rain’s new Unlimited Home 5G Basic service performs.
We tested large file downloads, Steam downloads, and BitTorrent peer-to-peer file sharing. All these services consistently achieved the full advertised speed.
Upload speeds to Google Drive were also consistently around 25 Mbps.
Moving to video, we could stream Netflix and YouTube at the advertised 720p without any disruptions.
On YouTube, we were also able to stream 720p at 60fps. Watching YouTube videos at 1080p at 30fps was also possible. Trying to stream at 1080p at 60fps, however, lead to consistent buffering.
We could stream Netflix at up to 1080p, and the streaming resolution remained at full HD once enough buffering has happened in the background.
In short, the service delivered what it promised and even exceeded expectations in some cases.
It should be noted that the connection dropped for a few seconds now and then, which is not unexpected for a fixed-wireless service.
It is therefore not as stable as a fibre service but is still an excellent uncapped broadband option for home use.
The images below show the results for a few of the tests which MyBroadband performed on Rain’s new R499 5G service.