Rain launched its new 5G service in September, offering South Africans uncapped data with average speeds of 200Mbps for R1,000 per month.
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 operator is, however, planning to expand its network to Cape Town and Durban in 2020, and in due course, it plans to cover all of metropolitan South Africa with 2,000 live 5G sites.
Rain CEO Willem Roos said earlier this month that by the end of 2020 they plan to have 5,000 4G sites and 700 5G sites in South Africa.
The company has not launched a public 5G product yet, but Roos said South Africans should expect to see a publicly-available 5G offering soon.
New 5G products coming
Following Rain’s launch of South Africa’s first 5G network in partnership with Huawei, the companies are planning to expand their offering with new products.
Rain said as its 5G ecosystem evolves, it would offer additional products and devices for use on its network.
“As the ecosystem matures many more 5G devices, such as dual-SIM mobile phones, MiFis, tablets, and 5G-connected laptops, will become available at affordable cost,” Rain said.
Huawei CBG South Africa CTO Akhram Mohamed told MyBroadband that 5G fixed-wireless access products could be a major competitor to fibre in South Africa.
“The outdoor CPE will be a complete game-changer, as one of the disadvantages of 5G is indoor coverage,” Mohamed said.
“Now you have the 5G CPE and the mesh Wi-Fi system. This can give you spectacular coverage at amazing speeds, at a price which competes with fibre packages – it’s a no-brainer.”
Where Rain 5G is available now
While Rain has not launched its commercial 5G product to the public yet, a coverage map of the 5G network has been made available to internal staff.
This map shows where the company has 5G coverage (darker blue areas) and where it has 4G coverage (lighter blue areas).
The darker areas show where users will be able to order 5G when the company launches commercial services.
It should be noted that Rain’s 5G coverage is rapidly expanding as its network is built, which means the areas listed below only provides a snapshot of where the company has coverage.