Rain offers clients free 4G outside antennas – however it might’t assist
Certain customers using Rain’s unlimited 4G plans can purchase an outdoor router to increase their download speed. However, this does not guarantee improvement.
This comes from the experience of a Rain 4G customer who recently spoke to MyBroadband.
The customer stated that even though he was in full rainnet coverage, about 1.3 km from the nearest tower, he had only recorded a maximum download speed of about 1.3 Mbps. This sometimes dropped as low as 350 kbit / s.
After filing a complaint about the speed it was getting on Rain’s network, the reader said that he was contacted by an agent informing them that his next tower was congested at peak times.
The agent stated that there was no quick fix to fix the problem but offered the option to have a free 4G outdoor router delivered to the customer.
This would then be used to connect to another tower with better conditions and to improve the network experience, the agent claimed.
Unfortunately, although the customer received and installed the router, he did not notice any change in performance.
However, he admitted that the installation might require a rain technician.
Limited number of circumstances
While Rain usually offers a similar service for 5G customers, the process for 4G packages has not yet been made public.
We asked Rain whether this service is available to all customers and what increases in performance can be achieved with the outdoor router.
However, CEO Willem Roos told MyBroadband that it doesn’t offer free-to-use routers for any of its 4G packages.
We simply provide our customers with a SIM card and then advise them on where to buy a range of 4G / LTE enabled devices, ”said Roos.
However, in a “very limited” number of cases, the operator has offered to help “selected customers” by providing them with a Huawei B2338 outdoor router, according to Roos.
This is to improve the connection strength for a customer in poor radio conditions, such as when they are far from the tower or the signal could be blocked, he explained.
Below you can see a picture of the outdoor LTE / 4G router of the Huawei B2338.
We couldn’t find any retailers selling this device, but another outdoor LTE router – the Huawei B222 – was available at PC Link computer from R518.
Rain is considering only offering SIM 5G
According to Roos, the operator recommended that customers use the “optimizer” process on the Rain website to improve the signal.
“We show our customers exactly where our towers are and then recommend that they place their router near a window facing the tower. In most cases this will ensure a significantly improved signal strength. “
With its 5G packages, Rain offers a router that can be used free of charge – the Huawei CPE 5G Pro – as these routers are not yet freely available in South Africa.
“It should also be noted that this router is connected to the Rain network and does not work with a third-party SIM card,” repeated Roos.
He added that in the future, Rain might consider a SIM card-only 5G product so customers can use their own hardware.