Rain launched its first mobile data packages in June 2018, which offer subscribers mobile data at 5c per MB – or R50 per GB.
More great value comes with its R250-per-month unlimited data add-on, where users receive unlimited mobile data usage for 19 hours a day.
As a launch promotion, users who buy a Rain Mobile SIM-only or device bundle also receive unlimited data usage for between 15 to 90 days.
Vodacom and MTN are unlikely to rival Rain’s value proposition, especially when it comes to uncapped mobile data.
This raises the question: How can Rain, as a new mobile operator, offer better value for money than established players?
The answer is that it has 10 advantages over Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, and Telkom – as listed below.
1. Rain has no legacy 2G or 3G networks.
Rain only has a 4G network, which means it does not have to spend money on maintaining 2G or 3G networks. It also does not need to use spectrum to serve 2G or 3G subscribers.
2. Rain does not need to support traditional voice services.
Rain does not offer traditional voice services and does not have to support traditional circuit-switch voice infrastructure.
3. Rain only deploys its network in urban areas with high population densities.
Rain does not spend billions to build a network in rural areas with lower population densities. It focuses on urban areas where most people live, which gives it a much lower price-per-coverage rate.
4. Rain does not have a large consumer base, so has spare network capacity.
With extra network capacity, Rain can offer products like unlimited data – as it is not concerned about congestion, apart from at peak times.
5. Rain has lots of spectrum for its base size.
Rain still has a small customer base, which means it does not have the same number of users per megahertz of spectrum as Vodacom and MTN.
The extra network capacity gives it freedom to offer more aggressively-priced products.
6. Rain only supports 4G data-capable phones.
By only supporting 4G, Rain has a much simpler network to maintain, which lowers its cost.
7. Rain only sells its products online.
By maintaining an online sales channel, Rain reduces its cost and does not have to pay its channel partners commission on sales.
8. Rain does not have to build large infrastructure like cellular towers.
Rain is using Vodacom’s existing cellular infrastructure to roll out its network, which significantly reduces its network costs.
It also does not have to go through many of the tedious and costly site acquisition processes.
9. Rain has an IP-only core network.
Rain does not have legacy network infrastructure, and its 4G radio network has an IP-only core. This improves its ability to deliver fast and affordable data products to subscribers.
10. Rain has no minimum service level and rollout obligations.
Unlike the major mobile operators, Rain does not have minimum service level and rollout obligations from ICASA.
This gives it the freedom to focus its network investment on where it makes financial sense, rather than satisfying regulatory obligations.