Data-only network operator Rain said on Wednesday that it has become the first company in South Africa to launch a commercial 5G network.
Rain, with its technology partner Huawei, made the announcement at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Tuesday.
“This move has made South Africa one of the first countries in the world to launch 5G,” Rain said in a statement.
In the first phase of the roll-out, Rain has deployed several 5G sites in Johannesburg and is delivering services using the 3.6GHz band.
Huawei’s solutions allow Rain to leverage its existing 4G/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,” it said.
More cities coming
Rain plans to cover major cities in South Africa with 5G, 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,” it said.
“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,” said Rain CEO Willem Roos in the statement.
South Africa’s more established mobile operators, including Vodacom and MTN, are unable to launch 5G services until they get access to more spectrum from communications regulator Icasa. — © 2019 NewsCentral Media