Nokia 5G radio and FastMile 5G gateways are said to offer super-fast fixed wireless access services to Safaricom’s subscribers


Nokia partners with Safaricom to launch 5G commercial services in Kenya. (Credit: Nokia)

Nokia and Kenyan mobile network operator Safaricom have joined forces to launch the first 5G commercial services in East African region through a roll out of the technology in Kenya.

The Finnish consumer electronics company said that its 5G Single Radio Access Network (SRAN) technology and 5G FastMile gateways will help in providing super-fast fixed wireless access (FWA) services to the subscribers of Safaricom in Kisumu and the Western Province of Kenya.

According to Nokia, 5G technology will pave the way for new applications in areas like augmented reality, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence for the subscribers of the Kenyan mobile network operator.

Enterprises across energy, education, healthcare, transport and entertainment applications can also benefit from 5G technology, said Nokia.

The Finnish firm said that it has made use of its AirScale SRAN platform for enabling ultra-low latency, huge connectivity, and extreme capacity for supporting the demands of the present day and future.

Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa said: “We are proud to be the first operator in the East Africa to launch 5G services, bringing the benefits of 5G technology to our customers.

“5G capabilities will change a lot of things in unimaginable ways for people and enterprises, playing a key role towards fulfilling our vision to transform lives. Our long-term partner Nokia’s technologies and services expertise helped us achieve this milestone in our journey to provide world-class broadband services to our customers.”

The launched 5G network uses massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) radio for boosting spectral efficiency and throughput capacity, while maximising the return on the RAN investment made by Safaricom, said Nokia.

Apart from that, the FastMile 5G gateway of Nokia is said to offer fibre like speeds for fixed wireless services to Safaricom’s subscribers.

Also, part of the network is Nokia 5G Cloud Mobility Manager, which is said to provide the scalability, flexibility, high availability, and performance required for underpinning the growth of mobile and enterprise services.

Nokia further stated that its NetAct network management system will help the Kenyan telecommunications company to have consolidated network view for enhanced monitoring and management of the network.

Nokia Middle East and Africa Market SVP Amr El Leithy said: “With over 200 commercial 5G agreements with leading customers across the globe, Nokia has been bringing 5G network to every part of the world.

“Our 5G network for Safaricom is a key part of this journey and we are committed to working with the operator to transform the communications landscape in the country. This will open new business opportunities for Safaricom.”

Recently, Nokia claimed to have achieved a 5G speed record of more than 4.5Gbps during a trial with Turk Telekom in Ankara, Turkey.