2020 was a difficult year for South African businesses, but mobile network operator Rain believes it was still successful this year despite the challenges it faced.

The mobile network operator offers mobile data plans in South Africa’s largest cities that offer interesting alternatives to other Internet services from the top mobile network operators as well as Fibre ISPs.

MyBroadband spoke with Rain CMO Khaya Dlanga about the business’s biggest success of 2020.

Supporting South Africans during lockdown

Dlanga told MyBroadband that despite 2020 being a challenging year for South Africans, Rain was still able to add to its customer base.

“While Rain was able to add many new customers, this was not our biggest success,” noted Dlanga.

“We believe that introducing our R479 Unlimited 4G plan in response to the stage 5 lockdown at the beginning [of the pandemic] was key.”

This service offers unlimited LTE Internet, 24-hours per day, at an impressive price.

Rain offers other unlimited Internet options, including unlimited 5G and 18-hour unlimited 4G.

“Many South Africans were able to continue working, learning and creating because of the various affordable unlimited plans,” said Dlanga.

“Rain was also fortunate to be in a position to continue employing people during an extremely economically difficult period.”

This as in a period where many businesses had to retrench significant portions of their workforce due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent national lockdown on these businesses.

Network performance

Dlanga also noted that Rain has made significant strides in improving the size of its networks.

This includes a big increase in the number of sites it has installed in areas it covers.

“Rain has expanded its network size by 25% by deploying close to 2,000 new sites,” explained Dlanga.

The network operator also expanded its 5G service to Cape Town, as it had previously only covered Gauteng.

Despite this, Rain scored poorly in a recent MyBroadband ISP survey, scoring the lowest overall.

While it scored highly for value for money, it had the lowest score for network quality and the second-lowest score for support.

This is down to the fact that subscribers are expecting better service levels than those which they have expected – and a big cause of this is the impressive network performance and coverage available on other networks like Vodacom and MTN.

Additionally, as Rain has become more popular – quadrupling its sign-ups during the lockdown period – this has seemingly had an adverse effect on network performance.

Rain CEO Willem Roos has said Rain customers should not expect the same network quality as they would receive from MTN and Vodacom.

He added that you get what you pay for, and compared Vodacom and MTN to three-star Michelin restaurants, while Rain was compared to an all-you-can-eat buffet.

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