Network operator, Safaricom PLC, has been confirmed to team up with international telecommunication giants Nokia and Huawei in a bid to establish infrastructure for the 5G network in Kenya.
This confirmation comes a few months after the Kenyan telco was given a green light by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) to begin the project. Initially, the infrastructure for Safaricom’s 5G network was being built by Chinese firm Huawei. This was despite the negative news that was rolling out internationally due to the tech firm’s relationship with the Chinese communist government.
Safaricom had previously announced its plans to partner with Huawei alone as the supplier for the 5G rollout. According to its chairman, Michael Joseph, this was in accordance with the guidelines from Safaricom’s two main shareholders, South Africa’s Vodacom and Britain’s Vodafone.
Michael Joseph, CEO of East Africa's most profitable company Safaricom, says the telecoms operator will consider Huawei as a vendor for its 5G network despite U.S. pressure elsewhere against using the Chinese company. Sisipho Skweyiya reports. pic.twitter.com/2Zr1FDqD5Z
— Reuters Africa (@ReutersAfrica) February 20, 2020
The network will begin to roll out as soon as 26th March which is a good thing for the future of connectivity in Kenya.
As per the information given to Gadgets Africa, Safaricom subscribers will not be required to get new SIM cards in order to have their devices connected to the network.
This developing news also comes amid the gradual roll-out of smartphones that support the 5G network including the Samsung Galaxy S21 lineup. Hopefully, this will open a gateway to more upcoming devices from various brands coming in with 5G-enabled chips.
There are still no details about what levels of speeds the network will reach although we would expect insane speeds.
The service will be available in Nairobi and various parts of western Kenya. This includes Kisumu, Kisii and Bungoma, which regularly experience increased data traffic.