Network provider rain activated Africa’s first commercial 5G network by making it available to selected customers. Although currently limited to "selected customers" in two cities Johannesburg and Tshwane, the network will eventually be extended to the major metros in South Africa during 2020.

“Selected customers in rain’s 5G coverage area have been invited to be the first to purchase ultra-fast 5G, unlimited internet for only R1000 per month. rain will deliver a state-of-the-art 5G router to a customer’s home. No installation is required, the router is simply plug-and-play and it will be connected immediately. The speed and capacity of the 5G network, together with the latest WiFi 6 technology in the router, will enable rain users to stream high-definition video to multiple devices simultaneously,” said Khaya Dlanga, Chief Marketing Officer, rain.

According to the company, this 5G network will offer reduced data costs and it will help South Africa benefit from the coming Fourth Industrial Revolution. The installation is quite easy and simple with fast wireless connectivity to businesses and homes as an alternative to ADSL, fixed-LTE and fiber. In the coming weeks, rain aims to open its new offering to all small businesses and homes within the coverage area of Johannesburg and Tshwane.

rain will be building its 5G network on its already successful 4G data networking infrastructure in its regulated 3600 MHz spectrum band. This will enable the provider to build a cost-effective network and limit the required additional number of sites, but still providing wide coverage.

An average 5G connection is able to provide speeds at least 10 times faster than existing 4G/LTE networks. According to Dlanga, the provider’s new network was able to reach speeds approaching 700 Mbps. “However, in real-world conditions we expect to see at least 200 Mbps for customers,” Dlanga comments. rain is currently working with Huawei Technologies and WITS University to develop a 5G Innovation Lab. “This exciting space will give young engineers a head-start in developing the new, innovative applications of 5G,” Dlanga explains.

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