Rain launched its LTE-A products in June, promising subscribers speeds of between 10Mbps and 50Mbps in areas where it has coverage.
The initial Rain products are fixed-wireless services sold by major ISPs, and come with a Huawei B618 router.
Before purchasing a Rain LTE-A service, a subscriber must ensure they are in an area where Rain has coverage.
The decision to launch a fixed-wireless offering first, instead of a mobile offering, is because Rain wants to improve its coverage before launching mobile services.
Rain plans to launch its data-centric mobile service by the end of 2017, and this will happen when it has 2,000 LTE-A enabled towers active across South Africa.
It is therefore unreasonable to expect the operator to provide a mobile data service with good coverage in Gauteng, but that did not stop us from testing its current capabilities.
Rain in a smartphone
MyBroadband purchased a Rain LTE-A service from Afrihost, and placed the SIM in a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
We took the smartphone for a spin in Pretoria, Midrand, and Johannesburg to see how the Rain network performs compared to Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, and Telkom.
We used MyBroadband’s Android Speed Test App to conduct speed tests, selecting the Johannesburg speed test server.
What we found is that Rain performed surprisingly well, especially considering it does not advertise itself as a mobile service.
MyBroadband performed 46 speed tests in Gauteng, and the Rain service had only 3 failed tests.
The average download speed was 27Mbps, the average upload speed was 7.6Mbps, and the average latency was 31ms.
The average speed of 27Mbps is impressive, as many tests were in areas where Rain does not list its service as having coverage and produced speeds of less than 2Mbps .
While Rain is not offering a mobile data service yet, the tests which MyBroadband performed in the S7 Edge show the solid network roll-out progress made by the company.
A summary of the Rain tests in Gauteng is below.
|Rain LTE-A Tests|
|Number of tests||46|
|Number of failed tests||3 (6.5%)|
|Peak download speed||73.99Mbps|
|Peak upload speed||20.59Mbps|
|Average download speed||27.22Mbps|
|Average upload speed||7.61Mbps|