Ever since the launch of the 5G towers, countries all over the world have been in constant wait for the glorious 5G mobile network to be made available locally. So, the question on everyone’s mind is do we have 5G in Kenya or Is there 5G in Kenya?
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What is 5G?
5G is the fifth instalment in generation of mobile networks worldwide. It is a global standard in wireless connectivity after the previous generation’s 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G. 5G brings new functionality into play which includes connectivity between virtually anything and everything including objects, devices and machines.
5G is designed to transfer data at really high speeds of more than 1000 Mbps. The network also provides low latency connections which means low pings which makes it more reliable than the previous generations. The higher performance of the 5G network empowers the new user experience when browsing the web and doing anything that needs an internet connection.
Do we have 5G in Kenya?
On the 26th of March 2021, Safaricom announced the launch of trials of the long-awaited 5G technology for its customers. The trials were set to begin with both enterprise and individual subscribers in Nairobi, Kakamega and Kisumu.
Part of the trial includes the expansion of the number of 5G sites to around 150. The expansion is set to take place across 9 towns over 12 months. The primary objective of the expansion will be to gather statistics on whether customers will enjoy the increased upload and download speeds of the 5G network.
5G can support up to 1million devices in a one square kilometre radius compared to the limited bandwidth of 100,000 devices of the previous generation 4G.
How fast is 5G?
The 5G network has been designed to deliver data speeds up to 20Gbps based on the IMT-2020 requirements.
Anyways, 5G is more than just the speed it provides. In addition to the higher data rate peaks, the network has an expanded capacity.
The latency provided by 5G is very low which makes it more efficient for both voice and video calls due to the reduced response time. It is no doubt that 5G is a big step forward in internet connectivity in many sectors.
5G technology can also serve as an alternative to both home and business fibre subscriptions, especially for customers living in places yet to be covered by Safaricom’s fibre network.
The customers will be provided with 5G routers which will offer speeds 10 to 20 times faster than those of 4G routers.
Which phones support 5G?
Nokia and Huawei are the major partners involved in the implementation of Safaricom’s 5G network in Kenya. Customers using mobile data will be able to access the 5G service on selected smartphones from Samsung, Huawei and Nokia which are all available locally at Safaricom shops countrywide.
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Peter Ndegwa, The CEO at Safaricom, stated that the launch date of the 5G network marked a major milestone for the country. “We aim to empower our customers with ultra-fast internet at work, home, school and also while travelling,” he said. He also stated that the company as a whole was proud to be the first to provide the latest innovation in mobile network connectivity to their Kenyan customers. He also said that he was also anxious to see how the customers would start exploring new opportunities provided by the availability of the 5G network.
“I congratulate Safaricom on this milestone, reinforcing the country’s positions at being at the forefront of innovation in the region and the world. 5G technology will usher in increased internet speeds and capabilities for millions across the country, laying a strong foundation for a new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs,” said Joe Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Information and Technology.
What do you think of this new development? Is it a major step forward for Kenya or not? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!