Ministry of Information, Communications, and Technology (ICT) Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru, Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa, and Communications Authority of Kenya acting Director-General Mercy Wanjau Addis Ababa, September 23, 2021(Walta) – Safaricom will increase its fifth-generation (5G) sites to 200 by the end of the year and commercialize the super-fast services in 2022.
The leading telco, which in March launched the 5G technology with 15 sites, says it wants to take high-speed Internet to additional towns.
Safaricom chief executive Peter Ndegwa Wednesday said the company would use up to 200 sites for testing the upgraded network as it seeks to capitalize on burgeoning mobile Internet use in the country.
The 5G service is a central part of its attempts to further expand its data business to counter slower growth in voice calls revenue.
“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 fiber,” 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 commercialize a bit faster but I will come with that at the appropriate time.”
Safaricom in March launched the upgraded network in major urban centers, including Nairobi, Kisumu, Kisii, and Kakamega, all of which routinely witness increased data traffic.
The telco said the technology will be applied on a trial basis and that it does not account for the big part of its capital spending for now.
According to the EastAfrican News, Safaricom is aiming to rev up its data business to offset sluggish growth in mobile calls, where it has seen a small revenue growth due to saturation, forcing the firm to turn to M-Pesa and Internet to power future growth.