Rain Mobile tested – The results

Rain launched its first mobile products on 6 June 2018, offering data priced at 5c per MB and unlimited data usage for between 15 and 90 days as part of its launch promotion.

MyBroadband ordered two sets of products from Rain – one SIM-only, and one with a Huawei P20 Lite smartphone.

For both orders, we were promised delivery on 8 June 2018 between 08:00 and 10:00, but this did not happen.

We received an SMS informing us that Rain was experiencing a delay and that we will not receive our orders on Friday morning as promised.

On Friday afternoon, however, we received the SIM-only package. It is uncertain when our device package will arrive.

Delivery and RICA

When the Rain delivery person arrived, they asked for an ID document and proof of address of the person to which the SIMs would be registered.

He took photos of these documents using his smartphone and scanned the SIMs’ barcodes on the package.

After this process was completed, a message was sent to the Rain head office and an SMS to the client that the job was completed.

This process was smooth and quick, and much easier than a standard RICA process at a retail store.

Rain sim

Rain tested

We then inserted the Rain SIMs into two smartphones – a Samsung Galaxy S8 and a Moto Z – and received a welcome SMS with configuration details.

The SIMs were already activated, and everything worked as expected.

MyBroadband then took the Rain service for a spin, testing it in hundreds of locations where Rain has coverage across Gauteng.

The average download speed for Rain’s service was 21Mbps, with an average upload speed of 14Mbps, and an average latency of 22ms.

The peak download speed of Rain’s mobile service was 98Mbps.

While these speeds are good for a new mobile operator, it performed the worst of all the major mobile operators in terms of download speed.

The tests

The map below shows were the mobile tests were performed, with each red dot representing a speed test using the MyBroadband Speed Test App.


The results

The tables below provide a summary of the 2,500 speed tests performed on Friday and Saturday, with Rain’s new mobile service compared against the major mobile networks.

Average Performance
Operator Download (Mbps) Upload (Mbps) Latency (ms)
Vodacom-SA 39.572 20.362 26
MTN-SA 32.491 20.017 23
Cell C 31.547 14.192 30
TelkomSA 24.292 4.458 47
Rain 21.117 14.270 22
Peak Download Speed
Operator Peak Download (Mbps)
Vodacom-SA 126.880
TelkomSA 116.728
MTN-SA 105.010
Rain 98.368
Cell C 91.549

Shopping Mall tests

Rain’s indoor coverage did not paint as pretty a picture as its outdoor coverage, however, and the network did not perform well when tested by MyBroadband in two of the province’s most popular shopping malls.

MyBroadband’s shopping centre tests this past weekend confirmed that Rain will have to either sign a roaming agreement with an operator or spend significant resources on indoor coverage to compete.

The tests showed that Rain has no coverage in many indoor areas where MyBroadband tested, with the only successful tests occurring in outdoor areas or areas where Rain’s outdoor coverage could penetrate indoors.

Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square

The maps below show the coverage of all operators in Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square, and then where Rain had successful tests

Sandton City
All operator successful tests in Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square.
All successful Rain tests in Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square.

Mall of Africa

The maps below show the coverage of all operators in Mall of Africa, and then where Rain had successful tests.

All operator successful tests in Mall of Africa.
Rain in Mall of Africa
Successful Rain tests in Mall of Africa.

The results

The number of successful tests in the tables below is a good indication of the indoor coverage of the mobile operators.

As shown, Rain’s number of successful tests inside the malls is substantially lower than that of its competitors.

Sandton City
Operator Download (Mbps) Upload (Mbps) Latency (ms) Successful Tests
MTN-SA 38.582 12.248 26 92
Cell C 30.700 11.644 24 92
VodaCom-SA 26.781 23.038 31 92
TelkomSA 24.191 5.815 33 88
Rain 1.816 3.601 33 12
Mall of Africa
Operator Download (Mbps) Upload (Mbps) Latency (ms) Successful Tests
MTN-SA 42.145 13.174 29 54
Cell C 38.236 15.227 20 53
VodaCom-SA 42.451 20.143 28 50
TelkomSA 6.126 3.062 114 48
Rain 5.391 6.324 27 27

Important notice: This data should be seen as an estimate of network performance, and cannot be used to make claims of having the best network or best coverage.

Now read: Rain Mobile launches with unlimited data promotions – All the details

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Rain Mobile tested – The results