Kenya’s largest telco Safaricom is reportedly planning to roll out 5G in some parts of the country. This is according to a report from The Government Business Review.

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If the reports are accurate, Kenya will join the few numbers of elite African countries that have already rolled out 5G.

As per now, only four African countries have deployed 5G, including Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa, and Egypt.

According to the publication, Safaricom has reframed its WiMax frequencies, which they acquired in 2008 to rollout fixed-wireless 5G service in Nairobi. The launch was supposed to happen this week and it is interesting that Kenya’s regulatory body – CA – was already aware of the plans.

“Yes, CA is aware of Safaricom’s plans,” said the Communications Authority in response to queries by GBR.

“The spectrum envisaged for the first round of 5G rollout is already with the operators who are expected to refarm their formerly assigned WiMax frequencies in the 2.5 and 3.5GHz bands,” the CA added.

The rollout will be not that extensive, with the initial implementation planned to happen in limited parts of Nairobi – reportedly in Westlands.

Initial 5G tests were spotted somewhere last week, although it has been on-going under the radar for some good time.  The telco was apparently able to achieve 750Mb/s per second maximum speeds. In real-world use, however, the speeds will be slower than this.

CA on 5G

The CA plans to hold a meeting in February to talk on industry matters on nation-wide 5G rollout, according to GBR. The regulatory firm will take that opportunity to brief industry players on 5G matters that were resolved at the World Radio Conference held in November 2019.

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