The leading telecommunications organization in Kenya, Safaricom, on Friday launched the 5G service in Kenya. However, the 5G service will only be available on Huawei Mate 30 Pro and P40, Safaricom said in a statement.
Then by the end of April 2021, Safaricom will avail the service on the Nokia 8.3, Samsung Galaxy S21 series, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 and Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G.
The 5G service will be a trial in four major cities - Nairobi, Kisumu, Kisii and Kakamega. The service will then be expanded to 150 other cities in nine towns in the next 12 months.
According to Safaricom, the four cities were chosen for the trial because they have experienced increased data traffic.
Safaricom is the first telecommunications firm in East Africa to unveil a 5G mobile service.
"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 the latest innovation to both our retail and enterprise customers empowering them to start exploring new opportunities that 5G provides," Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa said.
The 5G service can support up to one million connected devices per square kilometre compared to 4G which can only support up to 100,000 connected devices in a similar area.
According to the firm, the primary objective of the trial will be to establish if the customers can enjoy speeds of up to 700 mega bites per second and 1000 mega bites per second in the coming months.
“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,” Information CS Joe Mucheru said.
The 5G technology will also be an alternative to home fibre and fibre for business services targeting customers in places where Safaricom is yet to introduce its fibre for business services.
The organization began trial and testing of the fifth-generation service last year. This is an upgrade of the fourth-generation service(4G) that was launched in 2015 and has helped Safaricom grow its revenue from Ksh17.9 billion in 2015 to Ksh46.9 billion as of last year.
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