I ordered a Rain SIM to see if I could break the network

BusinessTech journalist Ryan Brothwell ordered a Rain Mobile SIM to see how much free data he could use. This is his account.

I ordered my Rain Mobile SIM during the company’s launch week, and was eager to try out the new network.

After a delivery delay, experienced by many customers, I received my Rain SIM on 26 June 2018.

Unlike the thousands of consumers who ordered their Rain SIMs at the same time as me, however, I had no plans to use the service in my phone or as a home connection.

Instead, I had one goal – put the Rain Mobile SIM in a Huawei B618 router and see how far I could stretch the network.

Was Rain offering a truly unlimited service as they claimed, and as all customers were told they would receive as part of their respective launch promotions, or would the network simply fall over as users looked to smash downloads?

Unlimited mobile data sounded too good to be true.

Free data days tested

I set up the router and Rain SIM and connected it to my home PC – it was time to abuse take advantage of the 15 “free data days” I had received with my Rain SIM-only package.

The fodder for my hungry router was Netflix downloads and Steam games, along with plenty of streaming from Netflix, Showmax, Twitch, and YouTube.

The time frame for my attempt was until my free data days expired. If I could not break Rain in this time, I would surrender.

And I did surrender, despite Rain giving me the added advantage of free data in the last week of June.

After using 709.6GB of data on streaming, downloading, gaming, and general browsing between 26 June and 16 July 2018, I had to admit – Rain delivered.


Besides the huge chunk of data I used, I was also impressed by Rain’s speeds.

My average download speeds over the period typically hovered between 30Mbps-40Mbps during the hours of 23:00 to 18:00.

There were periods of slower download speeds, however, particularly during peaks times and during bad weather.

Like clockwork, my speeds would drop to between 150kbps-400kbps at 18:00 each day – only getting back to normal after 23:00.

What I have noticed, though, is that from 16 July – the day on which the free data days ended for Rain SIM-only customers – download speeds have increased.

My average speeds now typically hover between 40Mbps-50Mbps, with the speed during peak hours rising to around 800kbps.

Add to this the unlimited data add-on for R250 per month that I purchased – giving me 19 hours of uncapped data usage per day – and I am happy to remain a Rain Mobile user.

Now read: Break the Vodacom-MTN duopoly – Telkom

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I ordered a Rain SIM to see if I could break the network