Rain Announce Plans to Launch Mobile 5G by 2023

Rain Announce Plans to Launch Mobile 5G by 2023

In the upcoming year, Rain intends to release a mobile 5G solution, according to Johan van Zyl, co-CEO of shareholder African Rainbow Capital (ARC). During an interview with MyBroadband, Van Zyl also revealed further information regarding Rain’s aspirations to expand its fixed 4G and 5G capabilities.

He clarified that the network operator’s principal goods, its fixed wireless Internet offerings, and Rain’s mobile 4G product have always been somewhat ancillary to one another.

Zyl revealed that ARC’s mobile offerings have been extremely constrained and considering the company has the resources, it has always been somewhat supplemental. “But we would really like to add to that and do 5G mobile as well.”. The 5G mobile product from Rain will be available in early 2023, he noted, for South Africans.

Regarding fixed 5G, Van Zyl said that Rain’s market share hasn’t decreased despite more competitors on the market. “If you look at the terabytes that we’ve been moving into these fixed places, it’s been quite substantial,” he said. Zyl added that Rain intends to expand its fixed wireless Internet capabilities even if its recently purchased spectrum isn’t yet operational.

“We now have access to the spectrum and the best way for us to really start using the additional spectrum that we’ve acquired, although it is not available yet, is to add to our fixed [wireless], which is mainly 4G and 5G. A big part of that is leveraging our existing network, but also getting roaming agreements in place with others.”

Due to setbacks in South Africa’s digital migration programme, broadcasters have not yet given up the lower-frequency spectrum Rain purchased at auction.

The long-awaited spectrum auction, which involved Cell C, Liquid Intelligent Technologies, MTN, Telkom, Vodacom, and Rain, was completed by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) on March 17th, 2022. A total of 40 MHz were stolen by rain, with 20 MHz in the 700 MHz band and the remaining 20 MHz in the 2.6 GHz range. The cost of purchasing the in-demand spectrum was R1.4 billion.

Van Zyl stated earlier this week during ARC’s annual financial results presentation that Rain would be a “player of note” in fixed and mobile broadband.

“We already have substantial market share in the fixed space. We had a bit of a run-up front where we didn’t have much competition regarding 5G. There are now several competitors, but we haven’t seen demand for our products decline,” Zyl added.