Local network operator, Rain, has collaborated with Oppo, one of China’s largest telecommunications companies to develop a new range of 5G routers for the South African market.
The fifth-generation wireless system will reportedly be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 chipset, one of the brand’s most powerful semiconductors.
Oppo would continue to grow its product offering and develop the brand’s broadening ecosystem, said Liam Fourie, Head of Operations and Go-to Markets of Oppo in South Africa. Fourie added that Oppo believes 5G is central to the fourth industrial revolution and the brand’s ambition is to marry that cutting-edge technology with stylish and appealing designs.
Oppo’s wireless router is a simplistic white cube, characterised by clean lines and a distinctive antennaless appearance. The unit’s interface is uncomplicated, featuring a series of lights that indicate the router’s 4G, 5G, Wi-Fi and power statuses.
Oppo designers cleverly hid the antenna internally, saying the intent was to make a router that could be showcased front and centre in the room instead of being hidden from sight.
However, the antenna isn’t the most interesting thing housed within the Oppo router. Powering Rain routers is the Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 microchip, also used to power the iPhone 12 series. One of their premier devices, the X55 was designed for versatility, supporting 4G and 5G spectrum sharing, maximizing customisability on the client’s side.
Qualcomm says this particular chipset offers a near-instant cloud connection and download speed that approaches a speedy 7.5Gbps. Those speeds suggest an HD film could be downloaded in several seconds.
The partnership with Rain also marks the first time Oppo’s 5G CPE T1a system would be used in the country, adding it would be exclusive to Rain at launch.
The Chinese telecommunications hardware manufacturers were competitive in the fixed wireless connectivity market and their presence in the industry would likely strengthen, particularly in developing countries where affordability remains an issue, said Peter Takaendesa, head of equities at Merger Investment Managers.
Takaendesa stressed the importance for network operators to drive data prices down to alleviate the pressure on the consumer wallet. Sub-Saharan Africa has some of the most egregious data prices on the planet, according to a 2021 report by UK Company Cable.co.uk. Six out of the world’s ten countries home to the most expensive data rates are in the southern portion of the continent.