Rain has revealed that it is getting ready to sell prepaid products during a presentation at the Avior Corporate Summit.

The network operator’s CEO, Brandon Leigh, said Rain has the necessary functionality to offer prepaid services.

“We are currently preparing for prepaid offerings. We have got the functionality,” Leigh said.

“Prepaid is a huge part of the [South African] market… We will offer prepaid to reach more customers.”

However, Leigh also said that Rain was still doing its best to determine whether a prepaid product from the company is something South African consumers need.

Although offering a prepaid product would allow Rain to reach more customers, he acknowledged that they aren’t yet entirely sure how they would roll out the product.

Leigh said there is no indication yet of what kind of tariffs Rain would charge, adding that they understand price is make-or-break in the South African market.

“I think with the economy where it’s at and the pain that consumers are going to experience, I think we aren’t naive that price points are extremely sensitive in the South African landscape,” he said.

He said Rain would decide on its pricing after further discussions.

Leigh said that he believes household internet packages, such as Rain’s 4G and 5G products, are somewhat offsetting the impact of the current economic situation.

He explained that home Internet becomes a shared cost, where those living in the household who would have previously had to buy their own mobile data at nearly R100 for 1GB can now split the cost of an uncapped internet product.

“So what happens in a household where people have three prepaid SIMs at R100 a GB, are now getting Rain 5G for home, and they’re sharing that expense,” Leigh said.

“In a sense, home Internet is actually almost offsetting the economic challenges that the world’s under.”

Rain readying to launch prepaid products comes as fibre-the-home providers increasingly target lower-income households.

Vumatel launched Vuma Reach in Mitchells Plain after a short trial in 2019, offering prepaid uncapped fibre vouchers that last 28 days.

Frogfoot and Telkom’s Openserve division responded with Frogfoot Air and Openserve Web Connect, although they offered month-to-month packages rather than prepaid products.

In February 2022, eKasi Fibre launched its prepaid services in Umlazi, KZN — South Africa’s fourth-largest township.

Also earlier this year, Telkom’s Openserve division launched a 7-day prepaid product on its low-cost Web Connect network.

Vumatel has also re-declared its ambition to launch an uncapped fibre service for under R100 per month aimed at South Africa’s poorest households.