Airtel Kenya has launched its highly anticipated Airtel 5G network, just eight months after its rival Safaricom unveiled the same technology. Speaking during the launch event in Nairobi, Mr Ashish Malhotra, the Managing Director of Airtel Kenya, emphasized the company’s dedication to enabling seamless connectivity by unveiling the cutting-edge 5G network.
Currently, Airtel Kenya’s over 370 active 5G sites are strategically positioned in 16 counties and 180 wards nationwide, taking the battle for Kenya’s mobile market – more so data services – up into network infrastructure.
“Today marks a significant milestone as we proudly introduce Airtel 5G network, a state-of-the-art infrastructure that provides data speeds up to 10 times faster than 4G, incredibly low latency, and the ability to seamlessly connect billions of devices,” Mr Malhotra stated.
He said Airtel 5G network will revolutionize various sectors, such as smart cities, education, healthcare, agri-tech, transport systems, entertainment, and more, which will shape the future of Kenya.
With Airtel’s 5G network, customers can now enjoy ultra-fast real-time connectivity for activities like multiplayer online gaming, live streaming, content uploads and downloads, as well as ultra-reliable wireless home internet. Moreover, businesses that rely heavily on data for web-based applications and virtual meetings will experience greater connectivity.
The Airtel 5G network will be concentrated in specific zones, including highly populated residential areas, malls, hospitals, city centres, and central business districts. These designated 5G zones will be clearly marked for customers’ convenience in identifying and accessing faster internet speeds.
To connect to the 5G network, customers will need compatible devices such as 5G-enabled smartphones, meaning an extra investment for customers who would want to experience the new world of super-fast internet connection. Higher data speeds are expected to to increase efficiency of various operations and support even newer technologies required to make businesses more profitable.
The company will offer 5G Home Broad Band for Enterprise and SME Unlimited Packages for as low as Ksh3,500 per month. The 5G packages include 5G Unlimited 10Mbps at Ksh3,500, 5G Unlimited 30Mbps at Ksh5,500 and 5G Unlimited 50Mbps at Ksh7,500 per month, respectively. There are also volume-based data plans for individual homes available from Ksh2,999.
This 5G network rollout is part of Airtel Kenya’s comprehensive infrastructure growth plan, which aims to enhance seamless connectivity for all its products and support Kenya’s digital innovation and inclusivity.
Mr Anthony Shiner, Chief Commercial Officer of Airtel Africa, says the 5G launch positions Airtel at the forefront of a technological revolution, adding that benefits that will transform businesses and industries will create opportunities to further unlock Kenya’s potential.
“Together, let us build a future where connectivity knows no bounds, innovation knows no limits, and Kenya stands tall as a digital powerhouse,” said Shiner, Chief Commercial Officer of Airtel Africa.
Currently, Airtel Kenya’s network infrastructure spans over 3,200 sites, providing coverage to 89% of all 47 counties. The company will be rolling out 650 additional sites this year of which 50% have been deployed. This is Airtel Kenya’s largest network expansion rollout in any given year.
Present during the launch were, among others, CS, Ministry of Information, Communication and The Digital Economy, Mr Eliud Owalo, and Communications Authority Director General, Mr Ezra Chiloba.
In October 2022, market leader Safaricom became the first service provider in Kenya to launch 5G. Since then, its coverage has increased from 11 towns to 28 towns spread across 21 counties including Nairobi, Kiambu, Mombasa, Kisumu, Uasin Gishu, Nakuru, Garissa, Kajiado, Kisii Machakos, Kakamega, Kilifi, Siaya, Kericho, Kwale, Laikipia, Marsabit, Meru, Narok, Nyeri and Vihiga Counties.