Rain chairman, Paul Harris, has announced that the group will launch a new 5G wireless network.
Rain said it has for the past 18 months rolled out a 4G LTE Advanced data network that covers the metro areas in South Africa.
The network currently comprises of more than 2,500 towers and it is planned to increase this to 5,000 towers over the next two years.
“Rain will support the objectives listed above by also rolling out a 5G broadband fixed-wireless network in conjunction with its partners Huawei and Nokia,” the group said.
It noted that spectrum is a key driver of 5G and the efficient use of these scarce resources is of paramount importance. “Rain will use its current allocated spectrum and leverage its existing LTE network to build the 5G network using 3.6GHz spectrum.
“This approach of sharing facilities and leveraging existing infrastructure will enable rain to rollout the 5G network in a quick and cost-effective manner,” Rain said.
The first application of rain’s 5G network will be to provide ultra-broadband services to homes and SME’s.
The network will provide fibre-like speeds without the installation complexities, time delays and cost of laying fibre in under-serviced areas. “The technology has the potential to dramatically reduce the cost of ultra-broadband internet access for a broad section of South Africans,” Rain said.
It said that early access to 5G networks will give the existing South African technology industry and new start-ups a head-start to become leaders in applications that can be used domestically and exported internationally.