Rain has officially launched its commercial 5G product, offering ultra-fast speeds and unlimited data usage.
The company said it has seen speeds of up to 700Mbps under ideal conditions, with real-world speeds of around 200Mbps.
Rain’s 5G service is currently only available in certain areas in Johannesburg and Tshwane, where it has close to 250 towers with an estimated 500,000 households in the coverage area.
The company said it hopes to expand this network over metropolitan South Africa, beginning with an expansion into Durban and Cape Town next year.
Rain’s 5G commercial package is priced at R1,000 per month, making it a serious competitor to high-speed fibre in areas where it is available – especially considering its simple activation process and competitive speeds.
We have compared the available information surrounding Rain’s 5G offering to Openserve’s 200Mbps uncapped fibre packages to demonstrate the differences between the two technologies.
Setup and network
Rain 5G clients can order a Huawei 5G router for R1,000 directly from the company’s website, after which the hardware is delivered to their home for free and is easy to set up.
The router provides gigabit ethernet ports and the latest-generation Wi-Fi 6 technology to connect devices.
Fibre installation, on the other hand, can take weeks to navigate and must be negotiated through an ISP and a network provider.
The ISP usually covers the setup and installation cost, however, meaning that the fibre installation costs less but will take considerably longer.
Rain’s 5G solution also provides better speeds than most fibre packages at a lower price, although it is important to account for shaping and throttling.
The Openserve fibre packages we have included in this comparison are some of the cheapest available in South Africa and are not subject to any throttling or shaping.
It is currently unclear whether Rain will need to shape or throttle its packages to preserve the available bandwidth on its 5G network.
If throttling does occur, however, this could dramatically impact the comparison between fibre and Rain’s 5G product.
Uncapped pricing comparison
Below is the pricing of Rain’s 5G product compared to 200Mbps Openserve fibre packages offered by major ISPs.
It is important to note that Rain has not specifically listed separate download and upload speeds, instead stating that most users should expect speeds of 200Mbps.
|ISP||Download Speed||Upload Speed||Latency||Price pm|
|Mind The Speed||200Mbps||100Mbps||<10ms||R1,496|