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[Kenya] Safaricom puts 5G rollout plans on hold, to focus on building its 4G network

[Kenya] Safaricom puts 5G rollout plans on hold, to focus on building its 4G network

Kenya leading telco Safaricom has put its plans to launch the fifth-generation (5G) mobile internet service in the country on hold.

Safaricom had hinted at plans to launch 5G at the end of last year, but that didn’t happen. Peter Ndegwa,  Safaricom CEO in a recent interview, said the company has no plans to launch the network in the short term but will focus on converting millions of 2G and 3G of its subscribers to 4G.

‘’...we are not intending at this stage to go big on 5G in the near term,” Ndegwa said (via BusinessDaily).

Safaricom had already conducted 5G trials in the country and had planned to roll out the service to major towns before the end of last year. The company however still sees a massive opportunity in 4G and plans to “exploit and fully utilize” their 4G network before making the big switch to 5G.

During its 20th anniversary celebrations last year, Safaricom announced plans to provide 100% 4G network coverage across the country by end of the year as part of its growth strategy focused on being the technology partner of choice.

Just recently Airtel Kenya also decided to go big on 5G. The company inked a deal with Finish telco equipment maker, Nokia, to modernize Nairobi with high speed 4G and 5G-ready hardware. The deal will run for three years and will also future-proof Airtel Kenya’s 4G network to give the telco an easier transition to the next generation of wireless communications, 5G.

“We are excited to partner with Nokia on this project. Its technology portfolio improves our network quality considerably and also allows us to move to 5G services in the future,” P. D. Sarma, CEO, Airtel Kenya said.




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