It will be Kenya’s first 5G mobile internet service which will offer a high-speed network than the current 4G network which was launched in December 2014.
Safaricom completed the testing and trials for the network last year as they seek to capitalize on rapidly increasing the use of mobile internet in the country.
The leading Telco revealed the Friday launch of the 5G network and that it will be supplied by Nokia Corporation and Huawei. Safaricom is trying to expand its data business as a mechanism to counter the slower growth in voice calls revenue and the 5G service is the central part of this attempt.
The services will be available in Nairobi, Kisumu, Kisii, and Bungoma, where data traffic is much experienced.
“Safaricom will be the first operator in East Africa to launch 5G services and will be showcasing their capabilities of the network with the aid of Huawei and Nokia’s technologies,” Safaricom said in an invite to the press.
Safaricom subscribers who want to use the 5G service will have to acquire handsets that support it in order to enjoy the much faster download and upload speeds which ease network congestion.
Safaricom will be able to grow its revenues from data just like how the revenue has grown from Sh17.9 billion in 2015 to Sh49.6 billion by the end of last year. In the quarter ended September, Safaricom had 58.9 million mobile subscribers with around 48.9 million of the subscribers having mobile data subscriptions.
5G can achieve browsing and download speeds about 10 to 20 times faster than 4G. Kenya’s telephony market has evolved over the past five years with growth in data sales increasing faster than revenues in calls, therefore, creating the need to upgrade the internet speed.