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5G networks could change life in Kenya

By Walter Opondo | February 25th 2020 at 16:00:00 GMT +0300

Despite the ongoing issues between the United States and Chinese tech giants ZTE and Huawei, the two companies are not slowing down in their efforts across the globe. While the European Union may have joined the USA in placing restrictions on the two firms, elsewhere, they are welcomed with open arms.

Africa is a case in point, where they are helping to modernise the continent’s ageing telecom infrastructure, and Kenya is no different. It is soon expected to become the fourth African country to launch 5G networks using Huawei’s technology, following South Africa, Egypt and Uganda.

Kenya’s leading telecom provider, Safaricom, is expected to launch 5G this month, initially in parts of the capital city Nairobi, after successful tests last year.

This is just one of a number of partnerships that the Chinese company has entered into in Kenya, having helped develop a data centre for the Kenyan government, and also having provided security equipment for the police force.

The spread of 5G will be a boon for the online gambling industry as well. Countries like Kenya, where casino mobile gambling is somewhat prevalent, represent huge opportunities for betting companies once 5G technology is implemented.

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Paysafe, a leading payments platform, conducted a study which showed that 42 per cent of existing regular sports bettors across the UK, US and Germany anticipate increasing their activity if 5G was available.

This study was based on an online survey which had over 7,000 respondents combined from the three countries. Over 21 per cent said that 5G would mean that they would increase the number of sports they bet on. 37 per cent of active players prefer to place their bets on their phones, which means that there is sure to be a surge in betting activity once 5G becomes the market standard.

5G will provide higher speeds and better connectivity, mitigating the concerns of those players who avoid betting on their phones due to slow connections. This is a sizable chunk of the total, with 22 per cent of punters having concerns over delays in placing bets, and 19 per cent worried about the speed of internet connections on their mobile phones.

Additionally, 31 per cent of respondents stated that they do not gamble at all because of connectivity issues on their existing mobile internet plans. Only 14 per cent of gamblers said that they face no connectivity issues when placing bets on their phones, and it is this market potential that 5G can immediately tap into.

Another potential opportunity lies with sporting venues, where 51 per cent of current bettors are reluctant to place bets on their phones due to the poor quality of connections. Almost half of the respondents to this study said that they would be more likely to bet using their phones if they were at a sports arena with 5G coverage. This represents a huge opportunity for the market, especially with the growth of 5G across the world.

5G Networks Safaricom
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