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4G/5G

Safaricom launches commercial 5G in Kenya

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Kenya's largest telecommunications company Safaricom has launched commercial 5G high-speed Internet service following trials that started in March 2021.

Safaricom has become the first telco in Kenya to switch on the network in 5G-ready areas giving customers fast and reliable Internet connectivity for their homes and businesses.

In a statement, the company added that the 5G network can be accessed through a 5G-enabled router that will work in a 5G-enabled area.

Safaricom currently has 35 5G network sites spread across Nairobi, Kisumu, Kisii, Kakamega and Mombasa, and it plans to expand to 200 sites across the country by March 2023.

The initial focus on 5G Wi-Fi rather than mobile is because there are still relatively few 5G-compatible devices in Kenya, the telco explained.

"The launch of 5G Wi-Fi is the first step in empowering our retail and enterprise customers to start exploring new opportunities that 5G provides," said Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa.

How will the rollout work?

Customers in 5G-ready zones can access 5G Wi-Fi by purchasing a 5G router at 25,000 Kenyan shillings (US$206) plus a setup fee of KES5,000 ($41) and selecting from three packages on offer, the company said.


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"Customers will also have the option of signing up for a 36-month contract that will enable them to receive the router for free," said Safaricom.

The telco added that its customers using supported 5G smartphones will also be able to access the network and get 5G speeds.

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*Top image is of former Safaricom Chairman Michael Joseph, Communications Authority Director-General Ezra Chiloba, marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge and Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa. (Source: Safaricom)

— Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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