Safaricom plans to launch 5G commercially in 2022.
Safaricom, a Kenyan network provider, has indicated that a commercialized version of their 5G services will be available in 2022.
Chief Executive Officer, Safaricom Peter Ndegwa spoke at a media presentation for the company’s 5G service launch in Kenya on March 26, 2021.
Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa speaks at apresentation for the company’s 5G service opening in Kenya on March 26, 2021.
The telcocommunication company, which introduced 5G technology in Kenya in March, starting with large urban centers such as Nairobi, also said that by the end of the year, it would have 200 more 5G stations.
According to Safaricom’s CEO, Peter Ndegwa, the company wants to bring ultra-high-speed internet to more communities because the 5G service will help the company develop its data business and offset slower growth in voice call revenue.
Safaricom’s CEO explained in a statement that the 200 sites would be used to test the enhanced network as the business aims to capitalize on the country’s growing mobile Internet usage.
Mr Ndegwa explained, “This year is a trial phase, and we expect to have 150 to 200 sites coming from the first use case of residences, especially in locations where we don’t have fibre.”
“We will be able to test in such regions and assist clients in terms of speed and dependability, and we will be able to commercialize a bit faster from next year, but I will come with that at the proper time,” he says.
While Safaricom is the frontrunner in the contest to be Kenya’s first 5G provider, it is only one aspect of a larger war that has placed the telco giant against rivals such as Airtel Kenya, Vodacom, and MTN across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Airtel Kenya upgraded 600 network sites in April to match 5G mobile internet service capabilities, with the goal of launching services in Nairobi, Mombasa, and Malindi by the end of the year.
The company’s Managing Director Prasanta Das Sarma told Business Daily that the updated locations are in Nairobi, Mombasa, and Malindi. ‘These 600 locations are now 5G-enabled. We don’t need to make any more changes to the network. We’ll merely receive the spectrum and figure out when to turn it on,’ he added, adding that this would most likely happen in the next two years, once the cost of 5G-compatible handsets and devices falls.
Source: Business Insider Africa