Safaricom Relaxes 5G Rollout Plans in Kenya
Kenya’s largest telco Safaricom PLC has announced that its plan to launch the first fifth-generation (5G) mobile internet services in Kenya has been relaxed and the efforts channeled to focus on improving its already growing 4G network.
Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa has said that millions of Kenyans have just recently been converted from using 2G and 3G to using 4G.
The move comes after giant telco finished 5G super fast internet service trials as part of its ambition to cover all the major urban centres.
Safaricom says the choice to slow down on the 5G plans is also due partly to pressure from the US for its allies who have raised security concerns over the Chinese firm Huawei that Safaricom had contracted to help roll out 5G in Kenya
“We have tested it (5G) in this country. We will go through conversations around the spectrum with the government in the background. But in terms of immediacy, we are not intending at this stage to go big on 5G in the near term,” Ndegwa said.
But 5G service still remains a key component of the company’s efforts with reports showing that 77pc of Kenya’s population wants 5G.
Safaricom launched its 4G network drive five years ago, this helped the firm grow its revenues from data to Sh40.7 billion, down from Sh9.3 billion in 2014.