Safaricom has today announced the availability of 5G in Kenya. The announcement comes after years of testing. The first time that the telco revealed to the public about the existence of the 5G network was back in April 2021. We also expected the service to be commercially available early this year. However, the reveal was pushed to later 2022, and there were rumours that Safaricom could delay the launch to 2023.

Today, Safaricom has confirmed that 5G is now commercially available to users.

Best 5G Smartphones To Buy in Kenya

To note, we had learned that Safaricom had slowed down on the 5G launch. This was because the carrier wanted to focus more on 4G expansion, and 5G smartphones were pricey. However, there are cheaper 5G devices around from manufacturers such as Nokia and Xiaomi. Others, such as Apple devices (iPhones) cannot connect to 5G for now, but customers will have to wait for a software update for them to connect. For Samsung, only the S22 series can link up to a 5G network (although Safaricom says that any 5G-supported Samsungs can connect to 5G). We have also discovered that many 5G-supported OPPO devices can connect to Safaricom 5G.

You might also be asking, where can you connect to Safaricom 5G? Well, here are the places where you can do so around the country:

KajiadoOloitoktokOl Tukai
KakamegaSichiraiKakamega State Lodge
KiambuKiambu TownRiverview estate, Golden Palm, Silver Gardens
KiambuRuakaTwo Rivers Mall
KiambuRuiruJerusalem, Mugutha, Murera, Murera Matangi
KisiiKisii CBDKisii CBD, Kisii Bus terminus, Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital, Kisii University
KisumuKisumu CBDKiboswa, Maseno University, Lower Riat Estate, Kisumu Airport, Mamboleo Estate, Kisumu CBD, Kisumu Bus Station
MachakosKamuluKamulu Stage
MachakosAthi RiverBaraka Gardens Estate, Acacia Estate, Osoit Gardens Estate
MombasaLikoniMombasa Hospital, Fort Jesus
NairobiKilimaniYaya Centre Mall, Kiluwa Apartments, Silverstone Apartments, Yaya Apartments, Kasuku Court, Abi Allan Apartments, Mango Court Apartments
NairobiLangataUhuru Gardens
NairobiSouth CPark View Estate
NairobiWestlandsSafaricom HQ
ThikaJujaJuja South Estate, Murema Estate, Sunset Park, Oak Park Estate

Currently, Safaricom has 35 active 5G sites spread across Nairobi, Kisumu, Kisii, Kakamega, and Mombasa, and it plans to expand to 200 sites across the country by March 2023.

Over the years, Safaricom has consistently invested in its network, with its 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G in aggregate covering over 99% of Kenya’s population, while its fibre network has connected more than 200,000 homes to the internet.

Safaricom has not been working by itself on this technology. Its 5G partners include Nokia and Huawei. Nokia has installed 5G infrastructure in the Western side of Kenya, while Huawei has set up its 5G systems in other parts of the country.

Safaricom Home 5G Wi-Fi

Another reminder is that Safaricom has also launched Home 5G Wi-Fi for consumers and businesses which do not have access to Home Fibre. They can buy a router, a subscription, and a connection fee to be connected to Safaricom 5G, but via a fixed wireless network. They also need a 5G device to access this service.

The router costs KES 25K, but you can get it for free if you pick a 36-month contract.

The packages cost KES 3500 for 10 Mbps, with a data cap of 300 GB. A 100 Mbps connection will cost you KES 15K with a data cap of 1TB. More details can be read here.

“Safaricom had 15 sites in March last year when they did the trials, and today at launch they have 35 sites live, with more coming,” CEO Peter Ndegwa.

Safaricom says that it will provide 5G data packages from December 2022. This will be great because 5G is faster than 4G, and will consume data much faster.

Best 5G Smartphones To Buy in Kenya

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Kenn Abuya is a friend of technology, with bias in enterprise and mobile tech. Share your thoughts, tips and hate mail at [email protected]