Rain’s mobile offering has launched to a mix of both happy and less-than-satisfied reactions.
Rain offers users a single plan of 5c per MB, which works out to R50 per GB, and users only pay for what they use.
There are no data bundles which can expire, or see users go out-of-bundle, which consumers have stated is great.
Even better is that at R50 per GB, Rain’s mobile prices easily beat data bundles from MTN and Vodacom.
Another highlight for consumers was Rain’s “unlimited data” add-on, which provides 19 hours of uncapped mobile data usage per day – for R250 per month.
There were downsides to the launch, however.
Rain has been unable to deliver many customer orders, which Rain CEO Willem Roos said should be resolved by the end of the week.
Network tests conducted by MyBroadband around Gauteng also show that Rain’s coverage is not as solid as Vodacom and MTN’s.
The tests further revealed that Rain did not have coverage inside major shopping malls.
No airtime and SMSs
Following the examination of data prices, coverage, and the delivery of Rain SIMs, there is more information to add to the Rain Mobile profile.
Responding to questions from MyBroadband, Rain has stated that its mobile SIMs cannot receive SMS messages from other mobile networks.
“Customers are encouraged to use Rain primarily as their data provider,” said a Rain spokesperson.
Rain does allow OTA SMSs for certain data-centred services, however, such as WhatsApp, Uber, and Facebook.
This is in combination with Rain stating it does not provide traditional voice calling services on its network.
This may be seen as a blessing for users, though, who only want to receive messages through channels which they control – like their email client, WhatsApp, or other IM services.
“Airtime” as mobile users know it is also not available on the Rain Mobile network.
Rain users are only charged for the data they use, and pay at the end of the month for the usage.
Again, while this may seem like a barrier to mobile users on the surface, it could be a positive for certain consumers.
Without “airtime” on their SIMs, Rain Mobile users will not be able to be subscribed to, and billed for, WASPs services, for example.
Users will also not be able to send money via Premium SMS services, but Rain said it is looking into ways for its subscribers to use services of this nature.
For mobile users who don’t want SMSs, traditional voice services, and airtime, and who see data-based usage as the only way to go, Rain Mobile is ticking the right boxes.