Safaricom has launched its first public 5G network trials in select parts across the country.
Safaricom 5G is now available in Nairobi, Kisumu, Kisii and Kakamega in the first phase of trials. The telco plans to expand 5G sites to more than 150 across nine towns over the next 12 months.
Safaricom’s 5G network trials aim to establish if the network can offer speeds of up to 700 Megabits per second.
The telco plans to offer than 1,000 Mbps speeds in the coming months.
“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,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom.
The trials will be available for both the companies enterprise and individual customers.
“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,” he added.
Blazing fast speeds offered by 5G opens the way for wireless fibre. As such, 5G can be used as an alternative to Home Fibre and Fibre for Business services in regions whether the optical fibre coverage is not yet available.
It will provide Enterprise and Home Internet customers with 5G routers to use the new network. Safaricom’s 5G is powered by Finnish telecommunications equipment maker Nokia and estranged Chinese tech company Huawei.
Hon. Joe Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Information and Technology congratulated the company on the launch which reinforces the country’s position in the technology space.
“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,” the CS said.
5G Supported Devices on Safaricom’s Network
Currently, only Huawei Mate 30 Pro and P40 can connect to Safaricom’s 5G network. More devices, including Nokia 8.3 5G, Samsung Galaxy S21 series, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 and Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G, will be supported from the end of April.