Rain, Huawei Launch First 5G Commercial Network


At the 2019 Mobile World Congress (MWC19), South Africa’s mobile data-only network operator, Rain, announced that it has launched the first 5G commercial network in South Africa in partnership with Huawei, the leading global ICT solutions provider.

The move has made South Africa one of the first countries globally to launch 5G network on commercial basis.

With Huawei’s end-to-end 5G solutions, Rain has been able to build the 5G network using its 3.6GHz spectrum.

In the first phase of roll out, Rain has deployed a number of 5G sites in key areas in Johannesburg.

Rain CEO, Willem Roos, said: “The network will provide fibre-like speeds without the installation complexities, time delays and cost of laying fibre in under-serviced areas.”

Huawei, which also operates in Nigeria, launched full range of 5G end-to-end product solutions, from core network, the bearer network, and base station to terminals in the beginning of 2018. The company already launched 5G phones at MWC19.

Apart from deploying new base stations, Huawei’s solutions 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.

President of Huawei Cloud Core Network Product Line, Shi Jilin, said: “It is an important step to work with Rain in bringing the first 5G network construction in South Africa.

“With our solutions, we are committed to working with operators with our innovative solutions to build future-oriented networks for smooth evolution and migration for the maximum value out of their investment and the best user experience.”

According to the plan, Rain will continue to expand the 5G network to cover all the major metropolitan areas in South Africa with 5G networks to provide ultra-broadband services to homes and enterprises.

“Rain is excited to build South Africa’s first large scale 5G network which can provide fast wireless internet to more citizens. We are supportive of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s investment drive in the country and hope to contribute to readying South Africa for the fourth industrial revolution,” Roos further said.