Safaricom looks to be confident in its fifth-generation (5G) set-up project with the number of sites being increased to 200 set to be completed by the end of the year. The telco will then start commercializing the network and its services in 2022, as reported by Business Daily.
This comes about 6 months after the firm launched the 5G network beginning with 15 sites only. This included major urban centres like Nairobi, Kisii and Kakamega, all of which experienced increased data traffic. Safaricom now says it wants to take this high-speed internet to as many Kenyans as possible as more towns are included in the list.
According to Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa, the company would use up to 200 sites for testing the tech as it seeks to capitalise on the flourishing mobile internet usage in the country.
“This year is a trial phase and we intend to have 150 to 200 sites coming from the first use case of homes, especially in places where we do not have fibre,” Mr Ndegwa said.
“We will be able to test on such areas and help customers in terms of speed and reliability and from next year we can be able to commercialise a bit faster but I will come with that at the appropriate time.”
The 5G network will be initially applied on a trial basis so it does not account for the big part of Safaricom’s capital spending for now.
We also expect to see some rivalry in this new tech between Airtel and Safaricom as they are both in the race for the superfast internet. Airtel recently upgraded 600 sites to meet the 5G mobile internet capabilities with plans of rolling out the services in Nairobi, Mombasa and Malindi.