Rain has taken the wraps off its new mobile offering – allowing consumers to make high-quality voice calls – and taking the fight more directly to bigger rivals Vodacom, MTN and Telkom.
Until now, Rain has provided only data services for smartphones and a wireless service for use in homes as an alternative to fibre. The launch of voice services means Rain is morphing into a full-service telecommunications provider, “thus becoming the fourth telco after Vodacom, MTN and Telkom, with a network that offers national coverage in voice, SMS and data”, it said.
The launch of Rain Mobile comes less than a month after one of the company’s biggest shareholders, African Rainbow Capital Investments, hinted that the unveiling was imminent.
The “new” network, based on 4G technology, will offer high-definition voice calls, data and SMSes. Coverage is national, though Rain didn’t say if it is roaming on another network — TechCentral has asked the company for clarity on this.
“After acquiring spectrum in the 2022 auction, Rain is overlaying its existing 4G network with a new layer that provides for more comprehensive reach,” the company said in a statement, presumably in reference to the 20MHz of spectrum it bought in the 700MHz band, which is well suited to providing broader network coverage.
With both a national 4G mobile network and a 5G network, Rain said it is now combining “home and phone” into one plan, branded rainOne. “Now customers can connect all their devices with one monthly bill.”
RainOne, which costs R559/month with no lock-in, includes “unlimited” 5G home Wi-Fi, plus free monthly calls and data for two phones, each with 2GB of data and 60 minutes of voice calls.
“Customers with rainOne will be able to seamlessly port their existing number and use Rain Mobile as their primary Sim, with national 4G mobile coverage,” Rain said.
“The convergence of a home and mobile voice and data offerings in one affordable plan is an innovation we are confident will appeal to South Africans. We recognise that our customers have family members, so with rainOne we are catering not only for their need to access the internet from home, but also outside on their mobile devices,” said CEO Brandon Leigh in the statement.
“Now customers have another option for mobile services from a provider that has already established a strong reputation in the home internet market. The expansion of Rain’s network, both in terms of 5G coverage and spectrum acquisition, indicates that we are serious about being a major player in the mobile market as well,” he added. – © 2023 NewsCentral Media