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Kenya inches closer to 5G internet

By Peter Theuri | March 6th 2020

Kenya is inching closer to fifth-generation (5G) mobile Internet technology. Seven firms already have ongoing trials for 5G with the aim of a future rollout, according to Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) Acting Director General Mercy Wanjau (pictured).

“The WRC-19 (World Radio Conference 2019) approved additional spectrum for international mobile telecommunications,” said Ms Wanjau during a stakeholder workshop to sensitise the industry on decisions of the conference.

“The new allocation will further contribute to socio-economic development of the country by providing diverse usage scenarios and applications, such as enhanced mobile broadband, massive machine-type communications and ultra-reliable and low-latency communications.

“The authority is working on the 5G licensing and rollout roadmap,” she added.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said the 5G Internet rollout would revolutionise Kenya’s communications industry. He said the programme would create massive employment opportunities for the youth in a country where 75 per cent of the population is aged below 35.

“The outcome of the WRC-19 provides Kenya with additional spectrum allocations that can be utilised in various services, to develop solutions to some of the challenges we currently face and equally enable us to provide better and improved services to Kenyans in areas such as universal access to ICT, food security, education, public security and climate change,” said Mr Mucheru.

He asked CA to ensure the requisite spectrum for the 5G rollout was provided and urged stakeholders in the industry to optimise on radio frequencies available.

Safaricom is among the firms that have been running trials ahead of the rollout of the super-fast 5G Internet with industry regulator, with CA waiting for the telco to hand in its test results for it to be issued with an operating licence.


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