Rain, Huawei Launches First 5G Commercial Network In South Africa

In the first phase of the rollout, Rain has deployed 20 new base stations in Johannesburg and Cape Town, covering the main districts of the two cities.

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5G Tech
5G Tech. Chesky / Shutterstock.com

Rain, South Africa’s mobile data-only network operator, announced on Tuesday that it has launched a first 5G commercial network in South Africa in partnership with Huawei.

This move has made South Africa one of the first countries in the world to launch 5G, the announcement was made at 2019 Mobile World Congress (MWC 2019).

With Huawei’s end-to-end 5G solutions, Rain has been able to build the 5G network using its 3.6GHz spectrum.

In the first phase of the rollout, Rain has deployed 20 new base stations in Johannesburg and Cape Town, covering the main districts of the two cities.

“The network will provide fibre-like speeds without the installation complexities, time delays and cost of laying fibre in under-serviced areas,” Rain Group CEO Willem Roos says.

Rain: SA's New Data-only Mobile Network AnythingTech.co.za
Rain: SA’s New Data-only Mobile Network
AnythingTech.co.za

Huawei launched its full range of 5G end-to-end product solutions, from core network, bearer network and base stations to terminals early in 2018.

Apart from deploying new base stations, Huawei’s solutions enable Rain to fully leverage its existing LTE network and allocated spectrum for 5G deployment. This approach of sharing facilities and leveraging existing infrastructure will enable Rain to roll out the 5G network in a quick and cost-effective manner.

Shi Jilin, President of Huawei Cloud Core Network Product Line, said: “It is an important step working with Rain to build the first 5G network in South Africa. With our solutions, we are committed to working with operators to build future-oriented networks that will give them the maximum value from their investment and give their customers the best user’s experience.”

Huawei logo. astudio / Shutterstock.com
Huawei logo. astudio / Shutterstock.com

According to the plan, Rain will continue to cover major cities in South Africa with 5G networks, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban, to provide ultra-broadband services to homes and enterprises.

In September, Rain will release 5G mobile phone products and plans to further promote 5G-enabled applications in terms of industry video, remote driving and smart manufacturing.

“Rain is very optimistic about the business prospects of South Africa’s 5G network, and will continue to invest more in 5G networks and better serve users,” says Roos.

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