Rain, the South African operator of mobile data networks, announced at the Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona that it had launched the first 5G commercial network in South Africa in partnership with Huawei, the first global provider of ICT solutions.
According to the firm, this decision has made South Africa one of the first countries in the world to launch 5G.
In a statement released on Thursday, Rain said that thanks to 5G end-to-end solutions, Huawei was able to build the 5G network using its 3.6GHz spectrum.
“In the first phase of the rollout, Rain has deployed a number of 5G sites in key areas in Johannesburg,” the statement read in part.
It quoted the Chief Executive Officer, Rain, Willem Roos, as saying, “The network will provide fibre-like speeds without the installation complexities, time delays and cost of laying fibre in under-serviced areas.”
Huawei launched the full range of 5G end-to-end product solutions, from a core network, the bearer network, and base station to terminals at the beginning of 2018, the statement noted, adding that the company had 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 in order to provide ultra-broadband services to homes and enterprises.
Roos further stated that Rain was excited to build South Africa’s first large scale 5G network which could provide fast wireless Internet to more citizens.
“We are supportive of President Ramaphosa’s investment drive in the country and hope to contribute to readying South Africa for the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” he said.
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