A leading telecommunication company in Kenya, Safaricom has said that it will suspend its plan to rollout 5G.
This is to allow the telco to focus on connecting more customers in the country to its 4G network.
Safaricom had a previous plan to ensure that every customer in Kenya is connected to the 4G network by March 2021.
According to figures in its recent annual financial statement, the telco has connected 77% of the country to the 4G network. Meanwhile, about 94% of the population is connected to Safaricom’s 3G.
In fulfilling its target of getting the entire population connected, Safaricom has suspended its 5G rollout in order to focus on ensuring that the 4G network is accessible to all.
Earlier on Safaricom, indicated that there are plans to launch a 5G network in major Kenyan towns and cities. However, the plan has been suspended with no plan in sight to launch in the short term.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the largest telecom operator in Kenya, Peter Ndegwa, said “We have tested it (5G) in this country. We will go through conversations around the spectrum with the government in the background. But in terms of immediacy, we are not intending at this stage to go big on 5G in the near term.”
Telco experts had earlier indicated that the 5G network launch will further cement Safaricom’s number one spot on the Kenyan telecom industry especially now that the company is seeing slower revenue growth in the voice sector of business as most customers rely on data services.
Even though Safaricom did not state when it will rollout the 5G network, it does not look like that will be done soon.
The 5G network is currently not a common phenomenon in Africa. This could mainly be because of the high cost involved in putting up a superfast network.
It is also possible that the high cost involved is another reason why Safaricom has suspended the rollout of the 5G network in the East African country.