Rain and Vodacom 5G vs MTN and Telkom LTE

Vodacom recently launched its 5G network in South Africa, offering high-speed connectivity in selected areas.

The company also launched fixed-wireless 5G packages which offer high-speed, fibre-like Internet connections for your home.

This places the mobile operator in direct competition with Rain, which also offers 5G home broadband packages, as well as fixed-LTE products from various ISPs and mobile operators.

It is important to note that Vodacom’s 5G packages differ from Rain’s in that they are capped and only available on 24-month or 36-month contracts.

Rain’s 5G products offer uncapped usage and are available on a month-to-month basis.

5G offers a significant speed increase over traditional LTE connections, with Vodacom stating that its products should initially deliver download speeds of 150Mbps – 200Mbps.

Rain also offers high-speed Internet through its 5G packages, with download speeds reaching over 200Mbps.

Both Rain and Vodacom’s 5G products have relatively low upload speeds, however, delivering speeds of 15Mbps and 20Mbps, respectively.

Despite the similar upload speeds, these 5G products are much faster than existing fixed-LTE broadband, which tops out at around 100Mbps downloads.

To determine whether 5G would serve as a good upgrade for fixed-LTE customers, we compared Vodacom and Rain’s 5G products with fixed-LTE products from Telkom and MTN.

MTN and Telkom LTE

Telkom offers fixed-LTE through its SmartBroadband Wireless product, with data caps ranging from 5GB to 220GB.

SmartBroadband Wireless packages also include an equivalent allocation of night-time data.

According to its website, Telkom’s SmartBroadband Wireless packages can support download speeds of up to 90Mbps and upload speed of up to 25Mbps.

MTN offers fixed-LTE packages on its network through a number of ISPs, one of which is Supersonic – an ISP which is owned by MTN.

Supersonic offers a selection of fixed-LTE Home Broadband packages with data allocations ranging from 60GB to 400GB.

Supersonic includes an equivalent allocation of night-time data in its fixed-LTE packages – however, unlike Telkom, the ISP includes this amount in the total data allocation of the product.

For example, a Telkom 60GB fixed-LTE package would offer 60GB of anytime data and 60GB of night-time data, while a Supersonic 60GB fixed-LTE package would offer 30GB of anytime data and 30GB of night-time data.

Supersonic states on its website that its fixed-LTE packages offer download speeds of 70Mbps and upload speeds of 25Mbps.

5G vs Fixed-LTE

A comparison between Vodacom and Rain’s 5G products and the fixed-LTE packages offered by Supersonic and Telkom is below.

The Vodacom and Rain 5G packages below are bundled with a Huawei 5G router, while the Supersonic packages come with an LTE router.

The Telkom fixed-LTE prices below are for SIM-only deals.

ISP Download Upload Data Price p/m
Telkom LTE 5GB 90Mbps 25Mbps 5GB + 5GB R59
Telkom LTE 10GB 90Mbps 25Mbps 10GB + 10GB R99
Telkom LTE 20GB 90Mbps 25Mbps 20GB + 20GB R199
Supersonic LTE 60GB 70Mbps 25Mbps 30GB + 30GB R249
Telkom LTE 40GB 90Mbps 25Mbps 40GB + 40GB R299
Supersonic LTE 120GB 70Mbps 25Mbps 60GB + 60GB R399
Telkom LTE 60GB 90Mbps 25Mbps 60GB + 60GB R399
Telkom LTE 80GB 90Mbps 25Mbps 80GB + 80GB R499
Supersonic LTE 200GB 70Mbps 25Mbps 100GB + 100GB R599
Telkom LTE 120GB 90Mbps 25Mbps 120GB + 120GB R699
Rain 5G Standard 30Mbps 20Mbps Uncapped R699
Supersonic LTE 300GB 70Mbps 25Mbps 150GB + 150GB R799
Telkom LTE 220GB 90Mbps 25Mbps 220GB + 220GB R999
Supersonic LTE 400GB 70Mbps 25Mbps 200GB + 200GB R999
Rain 5G Premium 200Mbps 20Mbps Uncapped R999
Vodacom 5G 100GB 150-200Mbps 15Mbps 100GB + 100GB R1,199 x24
Vodacom 5G 200GB 150-200Mbps 15Mbps 200GB + 200GB R1,199 x36
Vodacom 5G 300GB 150-200Mbps 15Mbps 300GB + 300GB R1,299 x36
Vodacom 5G 200GB 150-200Mbps 15Mbps 200GB + 200GB R1,499 x24
Vodacom 5G 400GB 150-200Mbps 15Mbps 400GB + 400GB R1,499 x36
Vodacom 5G 300GB 150-200Mbps 15Mbps 300GB + 300GB R1,599 x24
Vodacom 5G 400GB 150-200Mbps 15Mbps 400GB + 400GB R1,799 x24

Now read: Where fibre doesn’t reach – Wireless ISPs in South Africa need help

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Rain and Vodacom 5G vs MTN and Telkom LTE