Airtel becomes second operator to launch 5G in Kenya

Airtel Kenya has officially become the second operator to launch 5G network after Safaricom. 

Launched on Tuesday, the telco noted that over 370 of its 5G sites are now live in 16 counties and 180 wards nationwide.  

“Today marks a significant milestone as we proudly introduce our 5G  network, a state-of-the-art infrastructure that provides data speeds up to 10 times faster than  4G, incredibly low latency, and the ability to seamlessly connect billions of devices. ‘’Mr Ashish Malhotra, the Managing Director of Airtel  Kenya said. 

‘’Airtel 5G  will revolutionize various sectors, such as smart cities, education, healthcare, Agri-tech,  transport systems, entertainment, and more, shaping the future of Kenya.”

A few months ago, Airtel hinted that it would first roll out the network in high-end areas of Nairobi. The company now says Airtel 5G network will be concentrated in specific zones, including highly populated residential areas, malls, hospitals, city centres, and central business districts. These designated 5G zones will be clearly marked for customers’ convenience in identifying and accessing faster internet speeds. To connect to the 5G network, customers will need compatible devices. 

The rollout comes about two years after the telco inked a deal with Finish telco equipment maker, Nokia, to modernize Nairobi with high-speed 4G and 5G-ready hardware. The deal was expected to run for three years and will also future-proof Airtel Kenya’s 4G network to give the telco an easier transition to the next generation of wireless communications, 5G.

Airtel 5G Packages

Airtel will offer 5G Home Broad Band for Enterprise and SME Unlimited Packages for as low as Ksh 3,500  per month. The 5G packages include 5G Unlimited 10Mbps at Ksh 3,500, 5G Unlimited  30Mbps at Ksh 5,500 and 5G Unlimited 50Mbps at Ksh7,500 per month, respectively. There are also volume-based data plans for individual homes available from Ksh 2,999.

The telco says customers who have 5G compatible 5G devices can still use their current 4G bundles.  Mr Malhotra told TechTrends Media that they are not launching mobile plans because the network is in the zones. ”We are first using this as a home broadband strategy for the time being”

For the 5G routers, Airtel says it has a segmented approach. For SMEs and enterprises, the company will be offering them routers for free while individual customers will have to purchase them for Ksh.9,999.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to

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