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Airtel Kenya’s Nationwide 5G Rollout Accelerates Digital Inclusion!

Airtel Kenya has made significant strides in expanding its 5G network infrastructure, now covering 39 counties and 285 wards across the nation. With over 690 operational 5G sites, the telco is capitalizing on the surging demand for 5G connectivity among Kenyan users.

Fueled by the market’s enthusiasm for its services, Airtel Kenya plans to launch an additional 1,000 5G sites by the end of the year, bringing the total to an impressive 1,690 sites. This ambitious expansion drive underscores the company’s unwavering commitment to promoting digital inclusion nationwide.

The surge in 5G network adoption is evident in the latest statistics from the Communications Authority of Kenya. In the three months leading up to September 2023, the number of 5G network users in the country rose to 509,737, a substantial 13.3% increase from the 449,794 users recorded in June of the same year, reflecting an additional 59,943 users.

Ashish Malhotra, Managing Director of Airtel Kenya, expressed the company’s motivation behind the network expansion. “We are confident that our ongoing network expansion will enable us to extend connectivity to more communities nationwide, ensuring that no one is left behind in the digital revolution.”

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Airtel Kenya’s 5G service was initially launched in July 2023, with over 370 sites operational across the country. The company highlighted the transformative potential of 5G technology in various sectors, including smart cities, education, healthcare, agritech, transportation systems, and entertainment.

In August 2023, Airtel Kenya unveiled plans to invest over $150 million (KSh21.5 billion) over three years to bolster its network coverage further. Additionally, in November of the same year, the telco revealed its intention to add 100 5G sites to its network.

Kenya has witnessed a significant uptake in 5G technology adoption in recent years. Safaricom, the country’s leading telecom provider, launched the nation’s first 5G service in October 2022, following nearly a year of testing, and subsequently expanded its 5G network to 35 counties in November 2023.

Moreover, Equitel, a mobile virtual network operator, partnered with Airtel in February 2024 to launch 5G services, becoming Africa’s first MVNO to offer 5G connectivity.

As of the beginning of 2024, Kenya boasted 22.71 million internet users, with a penetration rate of 40.8%. According to Globalmonitor, the Kenyan telecom market has experienced substantial growth in recent years and is projected to expand further by 2025, driven by a growing population, improved communication services, and increased smartphone adoption.

Airtel Kenya’s nationwide 5G rollout is a testament to the company’s commitment to bridging the digital divide and ensuring that all Kenyans can access the transformative benefits of cutting-edge connectivity technology.

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