Rain set to roll out 2 000 5G towers as valuation hits R17.1-billion

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Rain, the first operator in South Africa to deploy a commercial 5G network, plans ultimately to roll out 2 000 5G high sites across South Africa’s main urban centres, although there is no timeframe for the build.

This was disclosed in shareholder African Rainbow Capital Investments’ interim financial results for the six months to 31 December 2020, published on Thursday.

“Rain is aiming to become a full-service mobile network operator, focusing on data as a primary offering,” ARC Investments said in notes accompanying its financial results.Rain is aiming to become a full-service mobile network operator, focusing on data as a primary offering

“Rain is making good progress with the roll-out of its strategy to establish a data network in metropolitan South Africa and experienced strong growth in clients and data usage since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant national lockdown,” it said.

“Its 4G expansion has progressed well, with nearly 7 000 active live sites as at the end of December 2020. Rain launched a 5G network in September 2019, making South Africa one of the first countries in the world to deploy this new technology. By 31 December 2020, 685 5G towers have been activated and the aim is to increase this to 1 150 towers by February 2022. Ultimately, more than 2 000 5G towers in larger metropolitan areas throughout South Africa are planned…”

Valuation

ARC Investments owns 20.37% of Rain, down from 20.7% at the June 2020 year-end. It values its stake in Rain at R3.5-billion, up from R3.1-billion in June, as a result of a fair-value gain of R382-million.

That means the group has attached a valuation to the entirety of Rain of R17.1-billion, or about R4.4-billion less than Telkom at the time of writing.  — © 2021 NewsCentral Media

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