Safaricom did 5G tests in the country in 2020. The telco planned to launch the next generation of mobile networks towards the end of 2020, but it was postponed. However, the company launched its 5G network, the first one in the country, on March 26, 2021.
Safaricom’s 5G network was built using infrastructure from Huawei and Nokia. Here’s everything you need to know about Safaricom’s 5G network. We’ve included the speeds, availability, coverage, and the list of supported phones.
The first phase of Safaricom’s 5G network trials merely aims to establish if customers can enjoy speeds of up to 700 Mbps (Megabits per second). This is the maximum the company is aiming for in the first phase. Later, in the coming months, the company targets to allow customers to enjoy up to 1 Gigabit per second(or 1,000 Mbps).
We should, of course, try out the network to establish the maximum that can be achieved over the network as of now.
Safaricom 5G currently works with only two devices, all from Chinese tech company Huawei, the Huawei Mate 30 Pro and P40. Toward the end of April, more devices including, Nokia 8.3 5G, Samsung’s Galaxy S21 series, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 and Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G will be supported. Others include the Nokia X20 5G, Nokia X10 5G,Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G, OPPO Reno 6 5G among others.
The company’s 5G network is only available in select regions across the country. 5G is currently available in Nairobi, Kisumu, Kisii and Kakamega, though the company has not specified precise locations. As it stands, coverage is very limited. TechWeez’s Ken Abuya also picked up a 5G signal during a recent trip to Amboseli.
Safaricom plans to expand its 5G coverage over the next 12 months by adding over 150 sites across nine towns.
— Abuya (@AbuyasLife) September 26, 2021
Safaricom 5G is both available to individual and enterprise customers. The telco will provide its Enterprise and Home Internet customers with a dedicated 5G router. Standard customers will be able to utilize the service by using a 5G compatible device.
There are no special 5G bundles mentioned as of now, but it’s necessary. 5G provides blazing fast speeds in comparison to 4G. A simple speed test alone can easily consume 1GB+ of data. So while it’s plausible for the company to introduce 5G, its expensive data plans might hinder potential users from jumping on the train.
5G creates a need for unlimited data. Hopefully, the company will be able to look into that as it plans to expand 5G coverage in various parts of the country.