South Africa’s first standalone 5G network launched by rain and Huawei


When it’s not being conspiratorially blasted for somehow causing cancer, COVID-19 or whatever other disease or disorder some nutcase on Facebook has pulled out of a hat, 5G is a pretty sweet deal. It’s one of the fastest internet connections available these days, offering speeds of up to 200mbps which is wickedly fast… if you’re lucky enough to be in an area where 5G signals are offered. Fortunately, that area just got bigger thanks to rain and Huawei teaming up to launch the country’s first standalone 5G network in Cape Town. Now, as long as a moderate breeze isn’t sweeping through the neighbourhood, Cape Townians might actually be able to connect to rain’s 5G signals!

The announcement comes just a few days after Rain announced that 5G connections would finally be available outside of Gauteng. Coverage for Cape Town was launched towards the end of last week. The infrastructure to support a Standalone 5G system has been powered by Huawei and has been built on rain’s own sites. To break down what this actually means, 5G in Gauteng was made possible through hooking up connections to already existing infrastructure, those being 4G towers usually owned by Vodacom. The introduction of what is essentially infrastructure that will be exclusively used for 5G is pretty new and is one of very few throughout the world.

Yet what does this actually mean for 5G connections in Cape Town? Well, according to the press release sent out by rain and Huawei, the introduction of Standalone 5G will, “further improve 5G network performance with increased uplink rate, lower latency, and improved reliability, ushering in high-end cloud VR and cloud gaming services, more diversified enterprise and home broadband services,” according to rain Chief Marketing Officer Khaya Dlanga.

If you’re wondering how much a 5G contract is going to cost you, then you’ll have to choose between the premium option and the standard plan. The standard plan, which costs R700pm, offers unlimited data capped at 30mbps and “allows a single HD video stream”, while the premium place will set you back R1000pm for unlimited data at an average speed of 200mbps. Which is quite the step up, even though it’s pretty expensive. Oh, and both packages come with a free 5G router.


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I completed a Masters Degree just so someone might take my opinions seriously one day. Also writes about video games over at Critical Hit.

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