Safaricom has successfully launched the country’s first 5G network in collaboration with Nokia and Huawei, across Kisumu and the Western Province of Kenya. Subscribers will be able to benefit from new applications in areas such as virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence.

Safaricom showcased the capabilities of the 5G network with three use cases -- 5G hologram, Ultra-HD video communication and virtual fashion shopping. In the hologram showcase, the live 5G network was used to teleport Safaricom’s executives from Safaricom office in Kisumu to the launch event in Nairobi. And in the second showcase, Ultra-HD video communication was made using the 5G Fixed Wireless Access connectivity powered by WiFi-6 with Nokia Beacon 6. The third showcase of virtual shopping will change shopping experience allowing users to try on clothes virtually.

Safricom explained that the rollout of the 5G technology is a key part of its plan to further expand its data business. The launch of the latest technology comes a little over five years after the unveiling of the 4G network.

Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom, said, “We are proud to be the first operator in the East Africa to launch 5G services, bringing the benefits of 5G technology to our customers. 5G capabilities will change a lot of things in unimaginable ways for people and enterprises, playing a key role towards fulfilling our vision to transform lives.”

“I congratulate Safaricom on this milestone, reinforcing the country’s position at being at the forefront of innovation in the region and the world. 5G technology will usher increased internet speeds and capabilities for millions across the country, laying a strong foundation for a new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs,” said Joe Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Information and Technology.

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