Last year, the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) disclosed its intention to deploy the 5G network in the country this year, bringing ultra-high connectivity to the population in a context marked by growing demand.
Recently, the Authority announced a technical cooperation agreement with Huawei that will become effective immediately.
Renewable every five years, the deal covers the deployment and extension of the 5G mobile network across the country.
Speaking on the agreement, Ezra Chiloba, CA’s director-general, said the deal also covers the introduction of new advanced technologies in the country, artificial intelligence, training and cybersecurity.
Last February, the communications authority released a roadmap outlining the deployment of 5G technology in the country. At the time, it said it would allow pilot projects this year by allocating 5G spectrums to operators.
In May, the Authority allocated 60 MHz spectrum in the 2600 MHz band to Safaricom for commercial 5G deployment. In March, Kenya and Huawei inked an agreement to improve ICT capacity.
Joe Mucheru, cabinet secretary, said, “We appreciate the commitment and support provided by Huawei to developing Kenya’s ICT infrastructure and boost ICT skills across various sectors.”
Since 2021, Kenyan operators have been investing in 5G. However, some obstacles such as the high cost of 5G-enabled cellphones, are delaying the process.
According to Peter Ndegwa, managing director of Safaricom, 5G-enabled cell phones are currently retailed at more than US$860, which is relatively high for average users.