Safaricom launches commercial 5G service
Safaricom has today launched a commercial 5G solution to enable fixed wireless solutions for businesses and homes in Kenya, promising speed one-hundred times that of 4G.
The 5G network can be accessed through a 5G-enabled router that will work in a 5G-enabled area.
Safaricom currently has 35 5G sites in the country and the company plans to establish 200 by March 2023.
Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa said, “The 5G network will enable our customers to enjoy unprecedented levels of connectivity and low latency. It will also complement our fibre network.”
There was subdued subscription to the company’s 5G mobile network rolled out last year and this has been attributed to a lack of compatible devices.
Ndegwa said there are approximately 200,000 5G smartphones on Safaricom’s network.
“Only one out of three Kenyans own a 4G device,” he added. “The shift to creating a fixed 5G Wi-Fi product will see more people adopt the fast internet network for various work. Mobile packages for 5G will be available by December this year.”
The Communications Authority of Kenya plans to introduce a 5G roadmap for the country to encourage and support local adoption.
Director General of the CA, Ezra Chiloba said that they will be releasing a policy document.
“One of our mandates is to look at the effective and efficient way of allocating spectrum resources,” said Chiloba. “In the last few years, we have been developing something we call the 5G roadmap… which is providing the national framework on how the sector is going to operate in as far as the roll-out of 5G is concerned.”
Chiloba did not specify a time frame for the introduction of the roadmap, and said only it would be “launched soon”.