Operator rain and Huawei staked a claim as the first to launch commercial standalone (SA) 5G in Africa, deploying initial coverage in the South African city of Cape Town.
The operator originally launched non-standalone 5G for fixed wireless access (FWA) service in February 2019 using 3.6GHz spectrum and kit from Huawei and Nokia. It noted the upgrade to SA will allow it to “significantly enhance” its FWA service.
Rain CMO Khaya Dlanga explained in a statement the shift will boost the network’s uplink rate and reliability, and lower latency, enabling “high-end cloud VR and cloud gaming services” as well as “more diversified” enterprise and home broadband applications.
He added SA 5G will aid digital transformation across industries, opening new smart opportunities in healthcare, ports, mining and manufacturing in the country.
Rival Vodacom launched FWA 5G in August 2018 and followed with mobile 5G in May. MTN South Africa debuted its 5G service, including a FWA product, last month.
Earlier this month the UK banned Huawei kit from its 5G networks in response to a US-led campaign to shut the vendor out of global networks.
But rain appeared undeterred, with Dlanga stating it would continue to work with Huawei as its “trustworthy strategic partner” to further expand its 5G network.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back