Rain launches 4G mobile network in SA - with no contracts


Stellenbosch-based mobile start-up rain has launched its 4G network in South Africa - and it's focusing solely on data. 

It will be offering one plan: mobile data priced at 5c per meg (R50 per gig), it said in a statement on Wednesday. The company completed its beta testing phase earlier in the week.

"Today rain launches a new generation 4G network that will redefine how South Africans use mobile data. It is the only mobile network that focusses solely on data offerings, thereby significantly reducing the price for consumers to connect to the internet," the statement read.

There will be no contracts or bundles, no monthly fees, and data will not expire, it added.

Customers would also be able to set and manage their SIM's spend limit, "ensuring that they never experience bill-shock".

New customers can join online, after which a rain SIM will be delivered to their door. Unlimited data usage will be offered for 15 days to allow customers to experience the network and test their individual coverage needs, the company said.

Rain's offering is data-only and does not provide traditional voice services. However, customers can activate data-based services such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Skype on their phones and make calls to other users on the same services.

Offers are also available on 4G MiFi devices and dual SIM smartphones, rain said.

Heavy data users will have the option to add unlimited off-peak data at an additional charge, barring at peak times.

"Rain's focus on providing one simple, easy-to-use, data-only plan allows it to significantly reduce costs, which it will pass on to consumers through lower data prices," the company said.

"South Africans can order up to three SIMs, give each a unique name, and can manage their mobile data costs on the web and using the rain app on their mobile phones."

The company said rain had reached more than 2 100 towers in metro areas in just over a year. Coverage was quickly expanding and would increasingly provide high-speed affordable data to South Africans, they added.

In October 2017, Fin24 reported OUTsurance CEO Willem Roos resigned to take up an executive position at rain. The company is also backed by former top bankers Michael Jordaan and Paul Harris.

Wireless Business Solutions (WBS), the holding company of the holding company of iBurst and Broadlink, had earlier rebranded as rain.

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