Kenya launches 5G network, second African nation to roll out the technology
Safaricom, Kenya’s biggest telecoms operator, has announced the launch of trails for 5G internet, using technology from Huawei and Nokia.
Kenya became the second country in Africa to roll out the technology. MTN and Viacom launched 5G network in South Africa last year.
The trials started with four Kenyan cities and towns on Friday - Nairobi, Kisumu, Kisii and Kakamega, but will be expanded to 150 sites in nine urban areas in the next 12 months.
Safaricom, the market leader in the mobile data segment in Kenya, are running the 5G trial period with the primary objective being to establish if customers can enjoy speeds of up to 700 Megabits per second, with plans to offer than 1,000 Mbps speeds in coming months.
As well as offering blazing speeds – 700 Megabits per second is more than three times faster than the current 4G network – 5G technology also supports far many more devices to connect to the internet in a given area, compared with the existing network.
“Today marks a major milestone for the country. With 5G, we aim to empower our customers with super-fast internet at work, at home and when on the move, supplementing our growing fibre network. At Safaricom, we are proud to be the first in the country and the region to bring this latest innovation to both our retail and enterprise customers empowering them to start exploring new opportunities that 5G provides,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom.
Nokia and Huawei have been chosen by Safaricom as technology partners, to implement the roll out of their 5G network. The US has urged other countries not to include Huawei in their 5G networks, citing security concerns, which Huawei has always denied.