Safaricom has been teasing 5G services for an extended period. The first mention of the 4G network successor went live in early 2021, but at that time, it was for test purposes. While commercial roll-out is yet to be official, the telco has already made other plans regarding how customers can enjoy the service, which is said to be ten times faster than 4G.
Safaricom Home 5G Wi-Fi
The fixed wireless connectivity product, which has been launched today, is named Home 5G Wi-Fi. This is nearly the same as Home Fibre, but they are differences. First, is that Home Fibre serves customers who are in fibre-ready areas. This includes the larger part of Nairobi and Central Kenya, among other towns in the country including Nyeri, Kisumu, Kisii, and Mombasa.
Home 5G Wi-Fi, however, targets customers that do not have access to Home Fibre but want to use the product anyway. The other difference is based on the name: Home 5G Wi-Fi uses Safaricom’s 5G network, which, as said, is not in many places right now. Anyway, customers who are already served will be able to buy a router and a bundle of their choice to experience the product (more of that in a second).
5G WiFi is the next evolution for Home Internet services that will offer customers high-speed and reliable internet connectivity on the first 5G network in Kenya – Safaricom in a statement
To note, Home 5G Wi-Fi is not targeting residential homes only because it will be available for businesses as well. It makes sense because some business applications need robust speeds and infrastructure, and Home 5G promises that with speeds up to 100 Mbps.
The first thing you must make sure of is if you are covered by Safaricom’s 5G network. If you are not, then this product is not for you. You can check coverage using this link, but we have summed up the covered regions in the table below:
|Kakamega||Sichirai||Kakamega State Lodge|
|Kiambu||Kiambu Town||Riverview estate, Golden Palm, Silver Gardens|
|Kiambu||Ruaka||Two Rivers Mall|
|Kiambu||Ruiru||Jerusalem, Mugutha, Murera, Murera Matangi|
|Kisii||Kisii CBD||Kisii CBD, Kisii Bus terminus, Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital, Kisii University|
|Kisumu||Kisumu CBD||Kiboswa, Maseno University, Lower Riat Estate, Kisumu Airport, Mamboleo Estate, Kisumu CBD, Kisumu Bus Station|
|Machakos||Athi River||Baraka Gardens Estate, Acacia Estate, Osoit Gardens Estate|
|Mombasa||Likoni||Mombasa Hospital, Fort Jesus|
|Nairobi||Kilimani||Yaya Centre Mall, Kiluwa Apartments, Silverstone Apartments, Yaya Apartments, Kasuku Court, Abi Allan Apartments, Mango Court Apartments|
|Nairobi||South C||ark View Estate|
|Thika||Juja||Juja South Estate, Murema Estate, Sunset Park, Oak Park Estate|
Once you have determined that you are covered, then you can request a connection from the same page. Alternatively, you can reach out to Safaricom staff for the same request via a call or social media.
The first thing you will need to purchase is a router. It costs a cool KES 25K, but you can get it for free if you choose a 36-month contract with Safaricom. This will be subject to credit vetting and the terms and conditions of the contract.
You will also be required to pay a one-off setup fee of KES 5000, which will cover delivery and set-up of the router, as well as the provision and registration of the SIM card to be used in your 5G router. This brings the cost to KES 30,000.
After that, you will then pick a package that fits your needs.
|Package||Price in KES||Speed in Mbps||Fair usage volume in GB|
The packages have a validity of 30 days.
If you have not exhausted them by then, they will not be rolled over to the next month.
In case you finish the bundle before the 30-day window, you can purchase another bundle and continue to browse at full speed. However, you can still browse till the month ends, but at reduced speeds.
You will need a 5G smartphone to connect to this product. Currently, iOS devices cannot access the network in Kenya. The Samsung Galaxy S22 series has however been updated to connect to Safaricom 5G [Update: All Samsung phones with 5G can connect to Safaricom 5G]. The Flip3 from 2021 also does connect to Safaricom 5G, and so does the OPPO Reno8 5G. We will need to test more devices for an updated list, so keep checking this story for more information. Other than those, all other 5G devices should be able to work with the 5G fixed wireless connection.
“5G is the first mobile technology that can react faster than humans. Has been used with good success in smart cars, and could brake faster than a human can,” Morten Bangsgaard Chief Technology Officer.
“First presented about 5g in 2015 where the key things about 5G was its reliability, smart devices, and how quick it will react to your requirement or devices. Ability to give a slice of technology for given entities,” Ramy Hashem, Head of Safaricom Customer Team at Nokia.
“We believe in the transformative power of the internet and will continue to deliver the most advanced technologies towards enabling our customers to enjoy a digital lifestyle. The launch of 5G Wi-Fi is the first step in empowering our retail and enterprise customers to start exploring new opportunities that 5G provides,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom PLC.
Is this product interesting to you? Can you use it if you meet all the criteria stated above? Let us know in the comments section below.