One year after its first 5G trial, Safaricom, the leading Kenyan telecom operator, is introducing an ultra high-speed broadband to the market.
At the launch, Safaricom also showcased 5G hologram and UHD video communication using a live 5G network.
This new service, they say would target the country’s major cities, and later expand to other parts of the country over the next 12 months.
“During Covid we have seen alot of customers wanting to work from home, whether these are individual customers, kids at home, so there are learning from home and also businesses, especially small businesses also start to establish their homes as their offices, so the work stops becoming a place but a space, so going forward we have to enable working from home or working from anywhere, in any space,” said Peter Ndegwa , CEO, Safaricom.
For the company, it is also a guarantee of increased financial revenue. Thanks to the launch of 4G in 2015, Safaricom had trippled its revenue in 2020. The company is now looking to expand to other countries.
“We are looking at expanding Mpesa beyond Kenya, we have already expressed interest to enter Ethiopia and we are going through that process. Hopefully if we get in there, we will continue to accelerate growth. More globally, we are looking at partnering with others so that Mpesa becomes the partner of choice for others including Visa and PayPal. We’ve signed many partnerships across the world. “ added Peter Ndegwa.
Nokia’s 5G Single Radio Access Network (SRAN) technology and 5G FastMile gateways enable ultra-fast Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) services to Safaricom’s subscribers across Kisumu and the Western Province of Kenya.
5G technology will enable new applications in areas such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence for Safaricom subscribers. It will also benefit enterprises across important energy, healthcare, education, transport, and entertainment applications.
Of over 50 million mobile network subscriptions in Kenya, there are just over 10 million smartphone connections, according to Newzoo’s 2019 Global Mobile Market report.
Although a 5G roll-out by Safaricom is a major step towards the development of the continent’s network, its Kenya customers should also be willing to pay more for internet data and connectivity further.