Airtel upgrades mobile internet services to 5G software

Airtel Africa 5GAirtel Kenya has upgraded some of its mobile internet services to fifth-generation (5G) software, with more than 600 sites in Nairobi, Mombasa and Malindi now ready to offer 5G network to customers, a move that is expected to enable Airtel subscribers to switch to the 5G network within the next couple of years

The Airtel Kenya rollout comes at a crucial time in the region's digitalisation push, as global brands such as Nokia and Huawei work with brands like Safaricom to implement telco projects across the country, according to Oxford Analytica.

Speaking with media, Airtel Kenya managing director Prasanta Das Sarma said, “These 600 sites are now 5G-ready. We don’t have to make any further modifications to the network. We will just get the spectrum and decide when to switch on.” 

The announcement comes just one week after Safaricom launched its 5G testing across the country, the first of its kind in the region and making Kenya only the second country in Africa to roll out the technology.

Airtel Kenya have stated that the new 5G Network will offer consumers 700 megabits per second, more than three times the current Internet speed offered by 4G providers. With huge opportunities for the Internet of things and tech-based solutions within sectors such as agriculture and education, it is clear that much work will need to be done to get Kenya ready for 5G rollout. 

According to GSMA, the mobile network operator organisation, only 3% of the world's mobile phone connections are on 5G, although estimates are that by 2025, 5G will cover a third of the world's population.

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