Rain recently announced it would suspend sales of its fixed-LTE products through partner ISPs from November 2018.
The company said it made this decision due to increasing capacity constraints on its network following the launch of its mobile products.
“Due to the strong sales of our fixed-wireless offering through ISPs, and the successful launch of our mobile product, we are rapidly utilising the currently-available capacity on our network,” Rain CEO Willem Roos told MyBroadband.
Rain clarified that demand for its R50-per-GB mobile plan remained strong and stated it would revisit the decision to halt fixed-LTE sales once it had improved its network coverage and capacity.
The company launched its first mobile data products on 6 June 2018, after which 4,860 SIM cards were activated on Rain’s mobile network by the end of that month.
Rain fixed-LTE customers with existing connections will not be affected by the suspension of sales, added Rain.
To get an idea of how successful Rain’s fixed-LTE offering was in South Africa, MyBroadband spoke to ISPs who offered the product from launch.
MWEB continues to offer Rain fixed-LTE products in addition to Cell C LTE packages, although the Rain packages will no longer be offered after 31 October 2018.
The ISP told MyBroadband that Rain fixed-LTE services continued to show strong growth after its launch.
“We were really happy with the initial sales performance, which maintained strong growth post-launch,” MWEB said.
Webafrica head of product Greg Wright told MyBroadband that the ISP immediately discontinued the sale of Rain fixed-LTE products as soon as it heard Rain was going to suspend sales.
With regards to the success of the product, Wright said that Rain’s fixed-LTE packages took off well but dropped following capacity constraints on its network.
“Sale volumes greatly exceeded our expectations in the beginning – however, sales slowed down as soon as Rain dropped the double-data promotion and the market became aware of Rain’s capacity constraints,” Wright said.
He added that Webafrica’s overall LTE sales volumes have remained the same after removing Rain packages, due to the overlapping coverage of its Cell C 4G product.
“Cell C’s 4G coverage virtually overlaps Rain’s coverage on a 1:1 ratio, hence we haven’t seen a reduction in overall LTE sales volumes after pulling Rain from our offering.”