Huawei gets gov’t nod as Safaricom launches 5G trial network

Huawei gets gov’t nod as Safaricom launches 5G trial network

Safaricom has announced the launch of its 5G technology trials for its customers.

The 5G service activated in Nairobi, Kisumu, Kisii and Kakamega will expand to 150 sites across nine towns over the next 12 months.

The telco giant also put to rest fears over security concerns with the technology stating that the government has extensively tested it and approved its use.

The trials for 5G technology is expected to lay the ground work for what could possibly be the age of seem-less connection. According to Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa, Safaricom has been investing over Ksh35 billion to put the necessary infrastructure in place to support the technology.

“Over the last year we have spent Ksh.35 billion annually in expanding our network. Our goal is to establish faster internet speeds with very little delay. This opens up businesses to new customers and grow sustainably,” said Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa.

Safaricom Board Chairman Michael Joseph stated: “Safaricom has invested a lot of money into our network and when people say we dominate, this is through our investment. And due to these investments, we are today launching 5G.”

Safaricom chose Nokia and Huawei as the two technology partners to implement the roll out of Safaricom’s 5G network, this despite fears over Huawei’s technology after the United States raised issue with its security features.

“As the government we cannot licence a technology that we have not tested to ensure its safety and viability. We have worked with the company (Huawei) before and we can assure Kenyans that it’s safe for use,” said ICT CS Joe Mucheru.

5G can support up to 1 million connected devices per square kilometre compared to 4G which can only support upto 100,000 connected devices in a similar area.

This makes 5G suitable for providing super-fast internet speeds in high density areas and for linking thousands of connected devices such as in a manufacturing and supply chain management for businesses.