Data provider paves the way for 5G in South Africa


Access to reasonably priced data has been available for many years in the UK. Our day-to-day lives are now consumed by checking our phones. If you’ve checked your screen time lately, you may be shocked at just how long you spend staring at your phone screen. Be it running your business, checking your Instagram or scrolling through the news, we rely on mobile data to keep us connected wherever we go.

Data coverage in South Africa is quite different to that of the UK. It’s patchy and sparse, as well as pricy. The price of data is much higher than most countries, which has caused upset amongst consumers and led to a Twitter hashtag campaign quoting #DataPricesMustFall.

To put that into perspective, it would be like us stepping back to a time when we had to rely solely on WiFi – when you leave the house, you leave the connection. The South African government hasn’t allocated any new mobile spectrum (radio frequency allowance) for 14 years and this has meant prices have sky rocketed, leaving the country behind when it comes to data coverage.

‘Rain’ is a South African data-only network provider that is pioneering 5G deployment in the country. Rain launched its initiative at the industry renowned Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February 2019. The company already has an established 4G network, giving them a great platform for their 5G network. Using this existing infrastructure means less cost for Rain and therefore the ability to pass on reduced rates to customers.

Focussing initially in the economic cities of Tshwane and Johannesburg, Rain is introducing its first 5G commercial network with an aim to drive the innovation in technology in South Africa. The company has selected leading businesses in these areas to be the first to access the 5G network at a reduced rate.

We’ll keep up-to-date with the progress as the story continues, so watch this space for updates!


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