YOU ARE AT:5GRain launches standalone 5G network in South Africa

Rain launches standalone 5G network in South Africa


South African operator Rain has launched what it claims to be Africa’s first standalone 5G (SA 5G) network, in partnership with Chinese vendor Huawei, the latter said in a release.

Rain’s standalone 5G is currently available in the South African city of Cape Town ,covering areas including Sea Point, Claremont, Goodwood, Bellville, Durbanville, and Cape Town City Center.

Huawei said the new network will allow the mobile operator to significantly enhance its fixed wireless broadband (FWA) service experience in the covered areas.

The Chinese vendor noted that standalone 5G supports advanced network-slicing functions and mobile edge computing (MEC), allowing Rain to explore new customized services based on ultra-low latency and much higher capacity.

“Our SA 5G will enable the industries ‘digital transformation in the future, such as smart healthcare, smart ports, smart mining and smart manufacturing in South Africa. We will work with our strategic partner to further expand our 5G networks and bring the best service and experience to our customers,” said Rain CMO Khaya Dlanga.

Rain also said that it has built additional 5G sites in Gauteng in recent months as part of the telco’s expansion plan, which includes the deployment of 5G in metro areas throughout South Africa in the next 18 months.

Rain already offers a fixed 5G service in parts of Johannesburg and Tshwane.

In May, rival operator Vodacom launched 5G services in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town, with additional cities to be reached in the future.

Vodacom said that this network will support both mobile and fixed wireless services and is currently available on 20 live 5G sites.

In February, Vodacom Chief Executive Shameel Joosub said that the company was aiming to launch commercial 5G services during 2020 by using a network being built by rival operator Liquid Telecom.

Liquid Telecom had previously announced it was building a wholesale 5G network in South Africa that would be available from early 2020. Liquid Telecom, which will use its own spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band, said it would allow other operators to use this infrastructure for the provision of 5G technology. Liquid added that its 5G service would be available in major South African cities.

MTN recently announced the launch of its 5G network in South Africa, with the initial deployment of 100 5G sites.

The network currently covers areas of Johannesburg and Cape Town, as well as Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth.

MTN said it had been carrying extensive 5G trials before the launch, which was made possible due to the South African Government’s decision to award temporary spectrum for 5G.

MTN said it has already deployed 58 5G sites in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Bloemfontein using the 3.5GHz band. The telco also deployed 35 sites using spectrum in the 2,100 and 1,800 MHz bands.

MTN said it has deployed 5G sites on 2100MHz in Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) expects to award 5G spectrum auction during 2020. The regulator expects to offer spectrum in the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 2.3 GHz, 2.6 GHz and 3.5 GHz bands.



Juan Pedro Tomás
Juan Pedro Tomás
Juan Pedro covers Global Carriers and Global Enterprise IoT. Prior to RCR, Juan Pedro worked for Business News Americas, covering telecoms and IT news in the Latin American markets. He also worked for Telecompaper as their Regional Editor for Latin America and Asia/Pacific. Juan Pedro has also contributed to Latin Trade magazine as the publication's correspondent in Argentina and with political risk consultancy firm Exclusive Analysis, writing reports and providing political and economic information from certain Latin American markets. He has a degree in International Relations and a master in Journalism and is married with two kids.

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