Faster internet beckons as Safaricom unveils 5G services to boost growth
Kenya’s leading telecommunications service provider Safaricom has launched fifth-generation (5G) technology to fast-track growth in key sectors of the economy and create jobs.
The fifth generation of mobile networks promises faster internet speeds. At its peak, internet speeds on 5G could touch 10 Gbps, compared to the 100 Mbps peak of 4G.
Safaricom became the first service provider in the country to announce 5G trials in March last year, and this development now empowers customers in 5G-ready areas to enjoy fast and reliable internet connectivity for their homes and businesses.
Peter Ndegwa, CEO Safaricom Plc said the telco believes in the transformative power of the internet and will continue to deliver the most advanced technologies towards enabling its customers enjoy a digital lifestyle.
“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,” he said during the launch in Nairobi yesterday.
Customers in 5G-ready zones can access 5G Wi-Fi by purchasing a 5G router at Sh25,000 plus a setup fee of Sh5,000 and selecting from three packages on offer. Customers will also have the option of signing up for a 36-month contract that will enable them to receive the router for free.
Ndegwa said the technology is expected to be critical in delivering new solutions that will address economic development, healthcare, manufacturing, infrastructure and even the delivery of government services.
“The 5G network heralds the era of intelligent connectivity and will be a key driver in enabling us to build on the investments and successes of the last two decades,” he added.
Currently, Ndegwa said, Safaricom has 35 active 5G sites spread across Nairobi, Kisumu, Kisii, Kakamega and Mombasa, and it plans to expand to 200 sites across the country by March 2023.
Noting that the telco currently has 200,000 5G smartphones on its network, he said customers will not have to renew their lines afresh to enjoy 5G internet speeds like during the transition to 4G network.