Rain and Huawei Launch South Africa’s First 5G Commercial Network


At 2019 Mobile World Congress (MWC 2019), Rain, South Africa’s mobile data-only network operator, announced that it has launched the first 5G commercial network in South Africa in partnership with Huawei, the leading global ICT solutions provider. This move has made South Africa one of the first countries in the world to launch 5G.

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 20 new base stations in Johannesburg and Cape Town, covering the main districts of the two cities.  

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

Huawei launched its full range of 5G end-to-end product solutions, from core network, bearer network and base stations to terminals early in 2018. This year Huawei has showcased its 5G foldable smartphone, the HUAWEI Mate X; and the HUAWEI 5G CPE (Customer Premise Equipment) Pro, the first commercial products housing the Balong 5000. These products deliver outstanding high-speed connectivity and bring a hyper connected, all-scenario experience closer than ever before.

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.

Shi Jilin, President of Huawei Cloud Core Network Product Line, said: “It is an important step working with Rain to build the first 5G network in South Africa. With our solutions, we are committed to working with operators to build future-oriented networks that will give them the maximum value from their investment and give their customers the best user’s experience.”

According to the plan, Rain will continue to cover major cities in South Africa with 5G networks, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban, to provide ultra-broadband services to homes and enterprises. 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.

The group CEO Willem Roos of Rain says, “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.”

MWC 2019 runs from February 25 to February 28 in Barcelona, Spain. Huawei showcases its products and solutions at booth 1H50 in Fira Gran Via Hall 1, booth 3I30 in Hall 3, the Innovation City zone in Hall 4, booth 7C21 and 7C31 in Hall 7. For more information, please visit http://carrier.huawei.com/en/events/mwc2019

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