Safaricom will not be launching the 5G network soon as had been expected. The company now says that its plan is to focus on ensuring that as many customers as possible convert to 4G as it looks to widen its net of customers and coverage.
Safaricom was set to become the first in the region to roll out a 5G network but CEO Mr. Peter Ndegwa says that the telco’s immediate plan is to convert millions of 2G and 3G users to 4G shelving the earlier plans laid down by the late Bob Collymore.
Safaricom’s 5G network was being built by Huawei. The trade war between the United States of America and China might have contributed to the war. The US has been against Chinese companies supplying 5G network to companies in Africa.
“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,” said Mr. Ndegwa.
According to Mr.Ndegwa, there are still more opportunities to fill within the 4G network before thinking of embracing the 5G network. “There is still so much headroom for us to exploit and fully utilize 4G before we go into 5G,” he said.
In February this year (2020), acting CEO Michael Joseph had indicated that plans were on the way to launch the 5G network in major towns in Kenya.
“We will launch probably in select cities,” Michael Joseph told the paper. Safaricom is likely to kick off with Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, and Nakuru, though this had not been communicated officially. He spoke to Business Daily then.