JOHANNESBURG – Billionaire Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Investments (ARC) said on Monday that it would be leveraging its shareholding in network provider Rain to make a R2 billion investment to build 700 5G sites in South Africa.
5G is the next generation wireless networking technology and offers considerable advances in speed and capacity.
On average 5G can provide speeds at least 10 times faster than existing 4G/LTE networks. Rain is in talks with tower companies, including American Towers and property, towers and solutions company Gyro, which was founded by Telkom in 2017.
Last month, Rain activated Africa’s first commercial 5G network by making it available to selected existing customers.
In the next couple of weeks the company will open up the offer to all homes and small businesses within the coverage area of Johannesburg and Tshwane.
During the course of 2020, the coverage area will be extended to the major metros in South Africa. ARC’s executive for corporate and stakeholder relations, Ainsley Moos, said Rain is one of 10 countries in the world to have successfully launched 5G.
“ARC has an investment (a shareholding of 20.6 percent) in the mobile telecoms company Rain, and Rain has successfully done a soft launch of 5G in South Africa earlier in September.
“Rain has indicated to the market that it currently has rolled out about 250 5G towers in Johannesburg, Centurion and Tshwane as part of its soft launch specifically and that it is aiming to roll out 700 5G towers country wide by end of 2020,” Moss said.