TECH

Kenya’s Safaricom launches 5G network

Safaricom Boss peter Ndegwa addresses the media during a briefing on the lending rates at Norfolk Hotel on September 28,2022.

Safaricom Boss peter Ndegwa addresses the media during a briefing on the lending rates at Norfolk Hotel on September 28,2022.

Kenya’s mobile service provider Safaricom said on Thursday that it has partnered with Chinese technology firm Huawei to commercially launch the 5G network in the east African nation.

Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom told journalists in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital that it has 35 active 5G sites spread across Nairobi, Kisumu, Kisii, Kakamega and Mombasa and plans to expand to 200 sites across the country by March 2023.

“We believe in the transformative power of the internet and will continue to deliver the most advanced technologies towards enabling our customers to enjoy a digital lifestyle,” Ndegwa said.

He noted that the launch of 5G is the first step in empowering retail and enterprise customers to start exploring new opportunities that 5G provides.

According to Ndegwa, 5G trials had begun in March in the East African country last year.

He observed that customers in 5G-ready zones will access Wi-Fi through routers while mobile subscribers with 5G-enabled smartphones will also be able to access the 5G network.

Will Meng, CEO of Huawei Kenya said that Kenyan consumers are watching more high-definition television, playing more online games, working from home, and thus consuming more and more internet data.

“But there are less than one million fiber subscribers in Kenya whilst there are 12 million households. With low penetration of fiber in Kenya, consumers and businesses can use 5G as an alternative to fiber, achieving similar speeds and supporting households’ bandwidth needs,” Meng added.

Meng revealed that for over 20 years, Huawei has helped build networks throughout Kenya and will continue to work closely with partners to develop more 5G innovations in the east African nation so that more consumers, homes, and businesses can benefit from 5G.

He noted that Huawei in Kenya will also leverage its global strengths in 5G to help Safaricom and Kenya make the most of 5G to drive economic growth and social development.

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