Rain will build a 5G network in South Africa, chairman Paul Harris said at the South Africa Investment Conference on Friday. It will leverage its existing spectrum allocation in the 3.6GHz band to do this, he said.
The first application of Rain’s 5G network will be to provide “ultra-broadband services” to homes and small and medium enterprises, Harris said.
“The network will provide fibre-like speeds without the installation complexities, time delays or the cost of laying fibre in underserviced areas. The technology has the potential to dramatically reduce the cost of ultra-broadband Internet access for a broad section of South Africans.”
Rain has deployed a 4G/LTE network in South Africa’s main metropolitan areas that it uses to provide mobile and fixed-wireless Internet access to consumers. It also has an agreement with Vodacom that allows the country’s largest mobile operator to roam on its network.
Rain’s 5G network will, in time, cover a wide range of new applications such as the Internet of things, smart cities and self-driving vehicles, the company said in a statement. “Rain is determined to be at the forefront of the evolution of 5G networks globally.”
The company said it will demonstrate its 5G network running live in Cape Town from 12 November 2018 (timed to coincide with the AfricaCom ICT conference in the city that week). It will be used to show off virtual and augmented reality applications; the impact of 5G in education; the social and economic implications of 5G for South Africa; and the engineering behind 5G.
Rain has 2 500 high sites around the country, and intends increasing this number to 5 000 over the next 24 months.
It said it will work with partners Huawei and Nokia to roll out the 5G broadband fixed-wireless network. — © 2018 NewsCentral Media