Safaricom, one of Kenya’s leading telecommunications providers, has ambitious plans to expand its 5G network, aiming to add 595 new 5G sites by the end of March next year. This move comes as a direct challenge to Airtel Kenya, its rival, which currently boasts more locations supporting the superfast 5G speeds.
According to Safaricom’s latest annual report, the company is determined to increase its 5G sites from the current 205 to a total of 800 by March 2024. This aggressive expansion strategy puts pressure on Airtel Kenya to either match Safaricom’s pace or relinquish its current lead in 5G coverage.
Notably, Airtel Kenya recently announced that it already has 370 active 5G sites spread across 16 counties and 180 wards nationwide. While it may have a higher count of active sites at the moment, Safaricom’s 5G sites cover a broader range of 23 counties.
Safaricom’s main objective is to empower its customers with super-fast internet connectivity at work, home, and while on the move, complementing its expanding fiber network. On the other hand, Airtel Kenya is also prepared to boost its active 5G sites beyond the current count, as it gears up for a fierce competition with Safaricom to gain a larger share of the rapidly growing data business.
The implementation of 5G technology promises significantly faster internet speeds compared to the widely available 4G network. However, it requires compatible high-end smartphones and data bundles, which may pose affordability challenges for many Kenyans. Users looking to experience the benefits of 5G must invest in smartphones that support the technology, allowing them to enjoy faster data downloads and uploads and a smoother online experience.