OpinionSmartphones

Don’t Rush to Buy a 5G Smartphone in Kenya in 2023

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5G Network kenya

The hype surrounding 5G technology has been building up over the years. It is laden with promises of faster speeds, improved network reliability, and lower latency. However, while these benefits may sound impressive, they may not be enough to justify the urgency to join the bandwagon. Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t rush to buy a 5G phone in Kenya.

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Reasons to Wait Before Buying a 5G Phone in Kenya

5G is the next level of connectivity for mobile devics. As opposed to 4G, which can only support 100,000 devices in the same area, 5G can support up to one million devices. 5G could achieve browsing and download speeds of about 10 to 20 times faster than those offered by 4G.

Limited 5G Coverage in Kenya

Although mobile network operators in Kenya have been rolling out 5G networks, coverage is still limited. For instance, Safaricom, the leading telecom provider in Kenya, launched its 5G network in 2021, but it is only available in a few parts of Nairobi and Western Kenya. Airtel, just this week provided news that it is set to launch 5G, but first within rich estates in Nairobi. Therefore, unless you live in these areas, a 5G phone won’t be of much use to you.

High Cost of 5G Devices

5G phones come with a hefty price tag. With most of them costing over KES 50,000, they are not affordable to the average Kenyan. In addition, the cost of maintaining a 5G phone can be high, as they require more expensive components like 5G radios and bigger batteries. This higher cost will eventually be passed on to consumers through more expensive services and phones.

Early Adopter Burn

Buying and holding on to a 5G handset for a few years can be risky. This is because early iterations of the chipset can have performance issues like battery life.Additionally, future iterations of 5G hardware are likely to have better performance as the kinks are ironed out.

4G Networks Capability

4G/LTE networks in Kenya are already capable of delivering the content that most consumers use regularly such as games, apps, and videos. Unless you require the additional speed and capacity offered by 5G networks, there’s no reason to rush into buying a 5G device.

Spectrum Availability and Cost

Rolling out 5G networks requires a lot of spectrum, which is not readily available. In addition, the cost of acquiring and preparing spectrum for commercial use is high, which is a big challenge for network providers in Kenya. This issue, coupled with government policy, is critical in determining how quickly 5G networks can be built out.

In conclusion, while 5G technology is exciting and may change things radically in the future, there’s no reason to rush into buying a 5G phone in Kenya yet. Sit back and wait a while.

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