Safaricom is considering Huawei to build and deploy its 5G network bands in Kenya this year. The Kenyan telco joins SouthAfrica’s data only network Rain in trusting the Chinese wing to make 5G access a possibility in Africa
Although Huawei still faces criticism from the U.S over claims related to cybersecurity, Safaricom’s choice to trust Huawei in building its 5G network is a win for the chinese wing which had started losing to its rivals like Ericksson, Samsung, ZTE and Cisco.
We will use Huawei in 5G. What will we do in terms of the American statements about not using Huawei? We don’t have that situation in AfricaMichael Joseph – Acting CEO Safaricom
Previously the U.K cleared Huawei on implementing 5G in the country, and now, Safaricom’s choice to use Huawei in building its 5G base network is a call to fill the vaccum for more bandwidth in Kenya.
“There is demand for more and more bandwidth, more and more speed” Safaricom’s acting CEO was quoted saying, as he further stated that 5G implementation will follow guidelines from the telco’s main shareholders including Vodacom and Vodafone.
So, Huawei’s call to build networks for Safaricom will not be the first in Kenya, but instead, another round to build a much faster and low latency network to level up the already laid 2G, 3G, and 4G networks
In fact, Safaricom’s popular Mpesa wing is based on Huawei’s mobile money platform that has the ability to process over 900 transactions per second. This means Safaricom’s choice on Huawei 5G was inevitable, unlike MTN Uganda which recently shifted to ZTE as its 5G partner.
While other African countries like Nigeria, SouthAfrica, and Uganda have run 5G demos, Safaricom’s goal is not just to test, but to fully deploy the network standard by the end of 2020. This means Kenya is the first EastAfrican country to declare a 5G launch timeframe.