Cheapest 5G routers in South Africa

5G routers have become substantially cheaper in South Africa over the past year, but the range of models available remains very limited.

5G connectivity is currently available from Vodacom, MTN, Telkom and Rain.

These operators offer several fixed-5G packages with high or uncapped data allocations, fast speeds, and low latency, ideal for those without access to a fibre connection.

While you could sign up for a contract or get a free-to-use router with Rain to use these services, another option is to buy your router upfront and get a SIM-only month-to-month deal for the most flexibility.

Among the packages available to you if you opt for this route is an Afrihost uncapped 50Mbps fixed-5G product on MTN’s network for R749 per month.

For R10 more per month, you could take out an Axxess Pro 5G uncapped package on MTN’s network with speeds of up to 500Mbps, if you are willing to live with a 600GB fair usage policy.

When MyBroadband previously looked at the prices of 5G routers available for online purchase in April 2023, the most affordable was a Huawei H112 5G CPE priced at R7,499.

In late January 2024, the cheapest option was a ZTE MC801A1 for R3,999, available directly from Afrihost or Axxess without a package. That is about 47% less than the Huawei model was less than a year ago.

We also found a Huawei E6878 5G router selling for R4,999, well below the H112’s price in April 2023.

If you are willing to sign up for an Axxess package, you could add the MC801A1 router for a discounted price of R1,999.

However, you must remain an Axxess customer for at least six months or pay a R499 cancellation fee if you no longer want the data package.

Afrihost offers the router at a discounted add-on price of R2,999 but charges a R999 cancellation fee for terminations within six months of sign-up.

Good prices but slim pickings

While the price drops are great news for consumers, the range of products available remained limited.

South Africa’s top online retailer — Takealot — only had the ZTE MC801A available.

The three biggest mobile networks — Vodacom, MTN, and Telkom — had no 5G routers to buy online without taking up a contract.

A few more secondhand devices were available than when we last went shopping for a 5G router.

Among them, we found an unboxed Nokia Fastmile 5G router available from Technmobi for R4,299.

While several other options were available secondhand, we would tread carefully before buying them.

Many of the used models we found were the same models offered on Rain 5G packages on a free-to-use basis.

These routers still belong to Rain and may have been sold by some of its former customers who were unaware of the terms of their agreements with Rain.

Several such 5G routers available online — including one from Cash Converters — even had Rain branding.

Used Rain 5G router for sale from Cash Converters

However, it is possible that the unit from Cash Converters was bought and paid for, as it is the same model Rain offered for cash as part of a limited Black Friday deal in 2019.

If you spot a ZTE MC801A or newer Huawei indoor or outdoor 5G router available used on another marketplace, it might be best to check in with the current owner on where they bought it.

Another thing to be wary of is not to buy a regular router without any mobile connectivity simply because it has “5G” in its advertising.

We found several listings with “5G” in the name that refer to support for 5GHz Wi-Fi, which is an altogether different technology.

While “5GHz” is shortened to 5G in the Wi-Fi network name, it has nothing to do with the 5G cellular technology. It concerns the use of 5GHz spectrum for transmitting local Wi-Fi signals, not for transmitting cellular signals over a 5G bearer.

Therefore, these routers will only work when connected to a fixed connection or as an extension of an existing network.

Below are five 5G routers we found available for purchase online in South Africa for under R10,000 in late January 2024.

ZTE MC801A — R3,999 (Afrihost or Axxess)

Huawei E6878 — R4,999 (Cell Network — MTN Partner)

Nokia Fastmile 5G router — R4,299 (Technomobi — used)

TP-Link AX3000 5G — R7,878 (

Teltonika Industrial 5G Gateway — R9,964 (GeeWiz)

Latest news

Partner Content

Show comments


Share this article
Cheapest 5G routers in South Africa