Kenyan telecoms operator Safaricom has announced the launch of 5G trials for both individual and enterprise customers in Nairobi, Kisumu, Kisii and Kakamega. As part of the trials, the company plans to expand the number of 5G sites to more than 150 across nine towns over the next twelve months. The primary objective during the trial period will be to establish if customers can access speeds of up to 700Mbps, with plans to offer speeds of up to 1Gbps in coming months. Nokia and Huawei have been chosen as the two technology partners to implement the rollout of Safaricom’s 5G network.
For mobile internet customers, the service will be available on select 5G smartphones from Samsung, Huawei and Nokia. Safaricom also noted that 5G technology can act as an alternative to fibre-optic services, targeting customers in places where the firm is yet to roll out its fibre network.
‘Today marks a major milestone for the country. With 5G, we aim to empower our customers with super fast internet at work, at home and when on the move, supplementing our growing fibre network,’ said CEO Peter Ndegwa, adding: ‘At Safaricom, we are proud to be the first in the country and the region to bring this latest innovation to both our retail and enterprise customers empowering them to start exploring new opportunities that 5G provides.’