Funky, cutting-edge, and a far way from churning cash

Business

Funky, cutting-edge, and a far way from churning cash

Rain’s data-only packages service only about 100,000 subscribers in urban SA, so it’s still a long-term prospect

Chris Gilmour

The largest single investment of African Rainbow Capital (ARC) (https://www.sharenet.co.za/v3/quickshare.php?scode=AIL) is its 20.6% holding in Rain, an unlisted  wholesale and retail internet service provider.

I am not entirely convinced of Rain’s value proposition relative to the interest surrounding it. It is at the cutting edge of technology and has a funky image that will appeal to young upwardly mobile consumers in urban SA, but it is likely to be a very long-term prospect and it will be a while until cash is generated.

At wholesale level, Rain supplies infrastructure to Vodacom (https://www.sharenet.co.za/v3/quickshare.php?scode=VOD) on approximately 5,000 sites, equating to 15% of Vodacom’s installed capacity. In terms of physical size, Rain’s network is third after Vodacom and MTN (https://www.sharenet.co.za/v3/quickshare.php?scode=MTN), on a par with Telkom (https://www.sharenet.co.za/v3/quickshare.php?scode=TKG)’s mobile infrastructure, and significantly larger than Cell C (https://www.sharenet.co.za/v3/quickshare.php?scode=BLU). It has plenty of “spectrum” – the amount of regulated radio frequency – at its disposal...

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