Rain, Huawei launch South Africa’s ‘first commercial 5G network’

rain 5g network

Tough luck if you’re sick of the term 5G. South African data only network Rain has today announced its commercial 5G network, which it believes will be the first in the country.

Rain has previously teased its 5G ambitions in late 2018, but the company’s CEO William Roos officially announced its intentions at Huawei’s MWC 2019 booth on Tuesday.

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

Initially, only those in select areas across Johannesburg will be able to benefit from the network. But Rain and Huawei promises that the network will be rolled out to more metro areas in South Africa as more base stations are built. It will utlilise the 3.6GHz spectrum.

“It is an important step to work with Rain in bringing the first 5G network construction to South Africa,” said Shi Jilin, Huawei’s president of cloud and networks.

While no 5G smartphones exist in South Africa at present, a slew of devices supporting the technology have been announced at MWC 2019, including the Huawei Mate X, Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G, LG V50 ThinQ 5G and Samsung Galaxy S10 5G.

While Rain claims that this will be the country’s first commecial 5G network, it’s not Africa’s. Back in August 2018, Vodacom announced that it rolled out its 5G offering in Lesotho, the first on the continent.

Rain’s 5G network is expected to be available commercially from mid-2019.

Feature image: Rain

Andy Walker
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