In an announcement at Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Spain, Rain a Telecommunication Company that offers mobile data-only service in partnership with Huawei, said South Africa could be the first countries in the world to launch commercial 5G.
“Rain has been able to build the 5G network using its 3.6GHz spectrum. In the first phase of rollout, Rain has deployed new base stations in Johannesburg,” said Huawei.
Rain CEO Willem Roos added that their network will provide fibre-like speeds without the “installation complexities, time delays, and cost of laying fibre”.
The network is based on Huawei’s 5G end-to-end product solutions, including core network, bearer network, and base station systems.
Huawei’s solutions also enable Rain to “fully leverage its existing 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,” said Huawei.
Rain said it will cover major cities in South Africa with its 5G network, including Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.
“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.”
“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 Roos.
The announcement from Rain comes after it first demonstrated its 5G network in September 2018. Rain recorded speed tests on its 5G network against a local server of over 700Mbps download and 70Mbps upload, it said.
One test reached a download speed of 747Mbps, an upload speed of 72.1Mbps, and latency of 9ms.