East and central Africa’s largest telecoms firm Safaricom has switched on 5G services in five cities in Kenya, including the capital, Nairobi.
People who can afford it – and the costs are high – could experience data speeds 10 times faster than a 4G connection. For example, if conditions are right, then a whole movie could be downloaded in 10 seconds.
The opening up of 5G is expected to boost the country’s digital economy – e-commerce and the ICT sector in general – which is enjoying a boom in growth.
But to take advantage of it at the moment, customers will either have to buy a 5G router costing around $250 (£210) or invest in a 5G-ready handset. Both options also come with higher data costs.
South Africa, Nigeria, Botswana and Zimbabwe are some of the countries on the continent to have already rolled out 5G.
However, the take-up of 4G is still low in Africa – accounting for just about a quarter of total connections compared to a global average of 60%, according to research by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association.