Kenya to roll out fifth generation network by 2019

Written By: O'Brien Kimani
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Kenya plans to start the roll out the fifth generation network by the year 2019 once the International Telecommunication Union allocates the necessary bandwidth next year.

Communication Authority director general Francis Wangusi says the new technology will aid in the rollout of artificial intelligence and blockchain technology.

He was addressing the 3rd Sub Saharan Africa Spectrum Management Conference that is drafting the deliberations to be discussed during the ITU conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

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Mobile network technology has evolved in the last 20 years. Previously, generations of mobile networks addressed consumers predominantly for voice and SMS in 2G, web browsing in 3G, and higher-speed data and video streaming in 4G.

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Mobile phone operators in Kenya have not succeeded in rolling out the 4G technology with only Safaricom offering the services in Nairobi and Mombasa.

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However the world is now ready to move to the next level of technology, 5G. Next year top telecom operators are expected to meet in Geneva, Switzerland to agree on the modalities of rolling out the new technology.

With global mobile data traffic expected to grow eight times by the end of 2023, players in the industry say there is a need for a more efficient technology, higher data rates and spectrum utilization.

Addressing the 3rd Sub Saharan Africa Spectrum Management Conference that is drafting the deliberations to be discussed during the ITU frequency meeting next year, Broadcasting Principal Secretary Sammy Itemere says this will help the government to roll-out more IT services like artificial intelligence, robotics and blockchain technologies.

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Kenya, which has the deepest internet connection in Africa, currently relies on the 3G network which suffers slowdowns and long loading time thus increasing the cost of broadband.

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