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South Africa data-only telco to launch first 5G commercial network

Rain CEO, Willem Roos with Shi Jilin, President of Huawei Cloud Core Network Product Line

Barcelona, Spain, Feb 27 – South Africa’s mobile data-only network operator, Rain, has announced that it has launched the first 5G commercial network in South Africa in partnership with Huawei.

The announcement was made at the 2019 Mobile World Congress (MWC 2019) in Barcelona, Spain.

In the first phase of the rollout, rain has deployed a number of 5G sites in key areas in Johannesburg.

Rain CEO, Willem Roos, said the network will provide fiber-like speeds without the installation complexities, time delays and cost of laying fiber in under-serviced areas.

Huawei launched full range of 5G end-to-end product solutions, from core network, the bearer network, and base station to terminals in the beginning of 2018. The company already launched 5G phones at MWC 2019.

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 the company is committed to working with operators with 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 with 5G networks to provide ultra-broadband services to homes and enterprises.

“Rain is excited to build South Africa’s first large scale 5G network which can 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,” said Roos.

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MWC 2019 runs from February 25 to February 28 in Barcelona, Spain.

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