(Ecofin Agency) - Last year, Rain attempted to merge with Telkom to improve its position in the growing South African telecom market. However, after the merger fell through, the operator decided to enhance and diversify its offerings.
South African data provider Rain recently unveiled its 4G services, "becoming the fourth telco to do so after Vodacom, MTN, and Telkom, with a network that offers national coverage in voice, SMS, and data" in South Africa.
African Rainbow Capital Investments, which holds a 20.3 percent stake in Rain, announced in March that the company was planning to launch mobile voice services. The move may be part of Rain's efforts to become more competitive in the South African telecom market after failed merger attempts with rival Telkom. In January, the data company announced plans to expand its 4G and 5G mobile services across South Africa.
The implementation of these plans was facilitated by the new capacity that Rain acquired in March 2022 in the auction of high-speed telecom spectrum organized by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA). During that auction, the telcos acquired an additional 40 MHz of spectrum for ZAR1.4 billion ($76.6 million).
“The expansion of Rain’s network, in terms of 5G coverage and spectrum acquisition, indicates that we are serious about being a major player in the mobile market as well,” said Rain CEO, Brandon Leigh.
To carve a place for itself in the South African telecom market, Rain will have to compete with already established operators like Vodacom, MTN, and Telkom. According to market research firm Omdia, these three operators control respectively 45%, 30%, and 15% of the market. The rest of the market is shared by Cell C and mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs).
Isaac K. Kassouwi