Nokia has deployed its 5G site for the South African operator rain. The launch and subsequent rollout are well aligned with the government’s strategy to connect the unconnected and improve the lives of citizens, and match rain’s main objective to provide affordable broadband internet to the masses in South Africa.
The full network deployment is set to start in the first quarter of 2019, and services are expected to launch mid-2019 when standards-based 5G NR devices become available in the country. rain is in a unique position to offer 5G as they already have access to 5G spectrum.
As an early adopter of 5G, rain will roll out the technology in South Africa ahead of many other countries globally. During the launch, Nokia and rain will showcase the impact of 5G and how it can provide even remote locations access to high-quality education. The classroom of the future will embrace virtual reality (VR) technology run on 5G networks to give South African citizens access to world-class education. This will not only improve the education system in the country, but also stimulate economic growth.
5G promises to enable faster speeds, massive connectivity, decade-long battery life for sensors and super-responsive and reliable networks for customers. This will unleash on-demand VR and augmented reality (AR) experiences, driverless vehicles, medical monitoring, advanced industrial automation services, and so much more – all requiring ubiquitous low latency connectivity.
Marc Rouanne, president of Mobile Networks at Nokia, said, “Nokia has a longstanding relationship with rain, and we are proud to work with the company on 5G. Nokia believes that 5G will change the connectivity landscape in South Africa and the entire continent. It will connect the unconnected and reshape services such as education and health, with the introduction of more connected things. 5G is a key investment and innovation; the connectivity it offers is critical to digital transformation. This is the path to unlocking new opportunities, enhancing education and driving economic growth.”
As part of rain’s 5G project, Nokia will deploy its AirScale radio access network solution in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal as well as the Mangaung (Bloemfontein) regions. AirScale offers a new modular way of building radio access networks that deliver services with high capacity scaling and low latency. The company will also provide professional services for the deployment of the solution.
With existing access to 5G spectrum and the launch of the first 5G sites, rain is set to take the market by storm. “rain is proud to be on the forefront of 5G worldwide and working with Nokia and other partners to connect as many South African as possible with affordable high-speed broadband services," says Willem Roos, CEO of rain.