Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) on Thursday announced the availability of 5G Wi-Fi for superfast internet at the home office.
Safaricom became the first service provider in Kenya to announce 5G trials in March last year, and this development now empowers customers in 5G-ready areas to enjoy fast and reliable internet connectivity for their homes and businesses.
“We believe in the transformative power of the internet and will continue to deliver the most advanced technologies towards enabling our customers to enjoy a digital lifestyle. The launch of 5G Wi-Fi is the first step in empowering our retail and enterprise customers to start exploring new opportunities that 5G provides,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom PLC.
Here are the places where you can get a 5G cellular signal:
|Kakamega||Sichirai||Kakamega State Lodge|
|Kiambu||Kiambu Town||Riverview estate, Golden Palm, Silver Gardens|
|Kiambu||Ruaka||Two Rivers Mall|
|Kiambu||Ruiru||Jerusalem, Mugutha, Murera, Murera Matangi|
|Kisii||Kisii CBD||Kisii CBD, Kisii Bus terminus, Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital, Kisii University|
|Kisumu||Kisumu CBD||Kiboswa, Maseno University, Lower Riat Estate, Kisumu Airport, Mamboleo Estate, Kisumu CBD, Kisumu Bus Station|
|Machakos||Athi River||Baraka Gardens Estate, Acacia Estate, Osoit Gardens Estate|
|Mombasa||Likoni||Mombasa Hospital, Fort Jesus|
|Nairobi||Kilimani||Yaya Centre Mall, Kiluwa Apartments, Silverstone Apartments, Yaya Apartments, Kasuku Court, Abi Allan Apartments, Mango Court Apartments|
|Nairobi||South C||Park View Estate|
|Thika||Juja||Juja South Estate, Murema Estate, Sunset Park, Oak Park Estate|
Currently, Safaricom has 35 active 5G sites spread across Nairobi, Kisumu, Kisii, Kakamega, and Mombasa, and it plans to expand to 200 sites across the country by March 2023.
Safaricom Home 5G Wi-Fi
Customers in 5G-ready zones can access 5G Wi-Fi by purchasing a 5G router at KES 25,000 plus a setup fee of KES 5,000 and selecting from three packages on offer. Customers will also have the option of signing up for a 36-month contract that will enable them to receive the router for free.
The introductory 5G Wi-Fi plans include 10Mbps with a usage limit of 300GB at KES 3,499; 40Mbps with a usage limit of 500GB at KES 5,999; and 100Mbps with a usage limit of 1TB at KES 14,999. Customers will be able to continue using the internet at throttled speeds upon depletion of the allocated usage limit.
Note that the Huawei Home Wi-Fi router that Safaricom already provides has ‘5G Wi-Fi’ which provides better connectivity than the usual ‘2G Wi-Fi’. However, your phone needs to have the Wi-Fi capability/hardware to recognise and connect to the ‘5G Wi-Fi’. This is not to be confused with a 5G cellular signal/Mobile network. In other words, you may have a 4G phone which has Wi-Fi hardware that can recognise and connect to 5G Wi-Fi. However, you need a 5G enabled phone to connect to 5G cellular/mobile network. Unless, you have a lot of money or do not want to die before you get the Sh25,000 5G Wi-Fi router, there is no need to ditch your current home Wi-Fi router if it has 5G Wi-Fi. What matters is the packages you have subscribed to – the actual speeds you get from your router.
Supported 5G Smartphones
Customers using supported 5G smartphones will also be able to access the 5G network and enjoy superfast 5G speeds. Supported smartphones include 5G-enabled devices from the Samsung Galaxy S and Fold series, as well as Huawei and Oppo 5G devices. Customers using iPhones and selected 5G-capable Samsung devices will require a software update from the manufacturer to access the 5G network.
Plans are also underway to provide 5G data packages for mobile internet customers and leverage the Lipa Mdogo Mdogo device-financing solution to avail of more affordable 5G smartphones.
Over the years, Safaricom has consistently invested in its network, with its 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G in aggregate covering over 99% of Kenya’s population, while its fibre network has connected more than 200,000 homes to fast and reliable internet.