Rain has launched the first 5G tower on its network, and celebrated the official unveiling at its offices in Cape Town this week.
Guests were welcomed to the building on Strand Street that Rain made its home, and taken on a tour to show its 5G New Radio network in action.
The mobile network operator said it will roll out the 5G network on top of its existing 4G/LTE footprint, which currently consists of over 2,500 sites.
Rain said that this will add around 12 gigabits per second of bandwidth to each site, meaning that capacity on Rain’s sites will go from up to 300Mbps to 12,300Mbps. This bandwidth is shared between all subscribers connected to a site.
The 5G network will also use Rain’s existing assignment of radio frequency spectrum in the 3.6GHz band.
Rain said it will be able to offer 5G within the same coverage area as its 4G network, thanks to the beamforming antennas used in the 5G New Radio standard.
Rain added that it aims to launch 5G services during the first quarter of next year, which will ensure that it is ready when 5G user equipment starts becoming more widely available.
Guests at the launch were shown technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality, running on Rain’s live 5G network.
One demonstration involved a virtual reality classroom, where a teacher was presenting a maths and biology lesson from one room in the house, which was being transmitted to headsets elsewhere.
In addition to showing applications of the technology, Rain showed guests the underlying equipment from Huawei and Nokia in its 5G network.
Photos from the event are embedded below.