Data-only network Rain has announced it’s going to start offering 5G commercial services in South Africa in September 2019. The company is partnering with hardware manufacturer Huawei, which will supply the devices necessary for consumers to enjoy the new, high-speed mobile standard.
While a number of South African operators have been conducting 5G trials, none of them have announced dates for the launch of commercial services. In the wake of this announcement, we expect that’ll change soon.
Rain says the plan makes South Africa “one of the first countries in the world to launch 5G”. The company is building its 5G network using its 3.6GHz spectrum, and says in the first phase of rollout, it has deployed 20 new base stations in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
With Huawei announcing its 5G-capable folding Mate X device at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, the timing arguably couldn’t be better. Huawei has also confirmed to Stuff that the new device will be coming to South Africa around the middle of 2019.
According to Rain, it will continue to roll out 5G infrastructure across its network with the aim of covering much of Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban in due course.