A year after Safaricom promised Kenyans 5G, it has finally delivered. But before you check your sophisticated smartphone for 5G, there will be a trial – and error – period. It will take place in Nairobi, Kisumu, Kisii and Kakamega for both individual and enterprise customers. Safaricom will slowly, steadily, roll out their 5G sites across nine towns over the next year.
“This is almost an emotional moment for me. Considering how far we have come from, trying to explain to people what the internet is. I congratulate Safaricom on this milestone. It reinforces the country’s position as being at the forefront of innovation in the region and the world. 5G technology will usher increased internet speeds and capabilities for millions across the country, laying a strong foundation for a new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs,” said Hon. Joe Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Information and Technology.
The primary objective during the trial period will be to establish if customers can enjoy speeds of up to 700 Megabits per second, with plans to offer than 1,000 Mbps speeds in the coming months.
The beauty of 5G technology is how easily it will become an alternative to Home Fibre and Fibre for Business services, mainly because it will be targeting customers in places where Safaricom is yet to roll out its fibre network. As for the Enterprise and Home Internet customers already onboarded, they should expect to be provided with a 5G router.
“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.
5G can support up to a millionaire scale per square kilometre compared to 4G which can only support up to 100,000 connected devices in a similar area. This makes 5G suitable for providing super-fast internet speeds in high-density areas and for linking thousands of connected devices such as in manufacturing and supply chain management for businesses. This definitely favours the Internet of Things (IoT) and plugs Kenya directly into the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR).
According to iotsworldcongress.com, higher speeds will allow access to files, programmes and remote applications in a totally direct way, eliminating waiting periods. “By intensifying the use of the cloud, all devices (mobile phones, computers, etc.) will depend less on the internal memory and on the accumulation of data and it won’t be necessary to install a large number of processors on some objects because computing can be done on the Cloud.”
Nokia and Huawei were selected with the government trusting Safaricom to make the right decision as to who would be its partners. The truth is, Huawei was inevitable being at the forefront of 5G globally. As a mobile internet customer, you might want to buy select 5G smartphones, specifically, these models: Huawei Mate 30 Pro and P40 starting today, and from the end of April 2021 on the Nokia 8.3, Samsung Galaxy S21 series, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 and Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G.