Airtel Africa, the parent company of various telecommunications firms operating in Africa, has announced its plan to launch its fifth-generation (5G) mobile broadband services in high-income neighbourhoods. The CEO of Airtel Africa, Segun Ogunsanya, stated that the 5G rollout will be selective and will only be available in key cities with enough devices and purchasing power to benefit from faster internet speeds.
5G technology offers faster internet speeds than currently available 4G technology. However, it requires more expensive smartphones, and the data pricing still needs to be within reach for most consumers. Most 5G-ready phones are priced from 25,000 to over 150,000 Kenyan Shillings, making them unaffordable to most people. The introduction of 5G technology in the markets where the multinational has acquired spectrum will be in selected key cities where the company recognizes enough devices and purchasing power to enjoy the benefits of 5G.
Safaricom, the pioneer of 5G services in Kenya, has strategically positioned its 5G sites in areas populated by a high concentration of affluent and middle-class subscribers. The company anticipates a slow and steady shift from 4G to 5G technology and foresees that by 2029, most mobile connections in Kenya will be on 5G.
The launch of 5G technology in Africa promises to revolutionize the telecommunications industry and bring new opportunities for businesses and consumers. The faster internet speeds provided by 5G technology will enable faster download and upload times, making it easier for people to access information, communicate with others, and engage in commerce. Businesses can use the new technology to reach new markets, streamline their operations, and increase productivity.
The rollout of 5G technology by Airtel Africa in high-income neighbourhoods is a significant step towards the future of telecommunications in Africa. While the technology is still in its early stages and may not be accessible to everyone, it is a positive sign of progress and an indication of what is to come. As the technology becomes more widely available and affordable, it has the potential to bring about significant improvements in the quality of life for people across the continent.