Kenyan telecom firm partners with Huawei to roll out 5G centers

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Kenyan mobile phone firm Safaricom said Thursday it has partnered with Chinese technology firm, Huawei, to launch three 5G experiential centers across Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

Peter Ndegwa, Safaricom CEO, said the three centers will showcase the superfast speeds and latest devices that come with 5G connectivity.

Ndegwa said the experience centers will enable Kenyans to discover the power of 5G firsthand. "We are further enhancing Kenya's best internet network, and empowering our customers to start exploring the limitless possibilities that 5G provides," he said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

Safaricom launched its 5G network in October last year, a first in the region and since then, the company has commissioned over 200 5G sites across 11 counties spread across the country.

According to Ndegwa, home and enterprise customers already in 5G zones can enjoy the network through 5G Wi-Fi. He said over 300,000 Safaricom customers already using 5G smartphones can access the 5G network and enjoy superfast speeds of up to 2Gbps, with typical speeds of 400Mbps to 700Mbps.

Sheng Kaifu, Huawei Kenya Deputy CEO, said they were delighted to collaborate with Safaricom on these experience centers. "They (centers) show how 5G can be transformative in connecting homes and small businesses to drive economic growth and social development, unlocking the digital economy."

Safaricom has consistently invested in its network over the years, with its 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G in aggregate covering over 99 percent of Kenya's population, while its fiber network has passed more than 450,000 homes and businesses.

Customers visiting the 5G experience centers will experience virtual reality gaming zones, showcases of smart capabilities for homes and enterprises, and speed-testing booths.

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