Rain’s new Standard 5G package will only let users stream video at “standard quality” – which is a resolution of 480p.
The “480” is the number of pixels in the vertical resolution of the stream and is typically accompanied by a horizontal resolution of 640 pixels.
This is according to Rain’s 5G product listing for the Standard package.
The 480p streaming cap is not the only limit Rain has imposed on the Standard 5G package, however.
Users will receive a maximum throughput of 30Mbps. This is opposed to the more expensive Premium 5G package Rain offers, which produces speeds of over 200Mbps.
To summarise, the Standard 5G package provides users the following for R699 per month:
- Speeds of up to 30Mbps
- Standard quality video streaming (480p)
- Unlimited data
- Free-to-use Huawei 5G CPE
It is still a 5G service
Following the launch of Rain’s Standard 5G service, many readers pointed out the speed and video streaming limitations, and asked: Can a 30Mbps connection still be called 5G?
Part of their argument was that as per the ITU criteria for IMT-2020 – commonly regarded as 5G – a “reliable 100Mbps user experience data rate” must be provided.
The criteria also states that 5G will “better support increased consumption of video as well as emerging services like virtual and augmented reality”.
This argument, however, does not change the fact that the technology and network used by Rain to deliver the 30Mbps package is part of its 5G ecosystem – and therefore the product is a 5G product.
Making 5G affordable
Rain told MyBroadband that its objective with the new 5G package is to deliver affordable, unlimited data to South Africans.
“In order to achieve that, Rain must be able to give customers choices for 5G at prices they can afford,” it said.
“Just as fibre can go up to high speeds and be limited, so can 5G. Both fibre and 5G offer varying speeds to ensure affordability.”
Rain added that the 480p streaming cap was implemented in order to make their product more affordable.
“Besides, some consumers do not require HD and high speeds – this is why Rain offers customers the choice of Standard and Premium.”
It added that all video streams in the Standard package will be limited to 480p.