Nokia revealed today that it will power East Africa’s first 5G commercial services in collaboration with Safaricom, the Kenya’s leading telecoms operator.
Nokia’s 5G Single Radio Access Network (SRAN) technology and 5G FastMile gateways allow Safaricom subscribers in Kisumu and the Western Province of Kenya to access ultra-fast Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) services.
For Safaricom subscribers, 5G technology will allow new technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence. It will also support companies in vital energy, healthcare, education, transportation, and entertainment applications.
Subscribers will benefit from ultra-fast Fixed Wireless Access services provided by 5G radio and FastMile 5G gateways.
Safaricom demonstrated the capabilities of the 5G network with three use cases at a launch event in Nairobi:
- 5G hologram, Ultra-HD video chat, and virtual fashion shopping.
- The live 5G network was used in the hologram showcase to teleport Safaricom executives from the Safaricom office in Kisumu to the launch event in Nairobi. In the second demonstration, Ultra-HD video communication was achieved by the use of 5G Fixed Wireless Access networking powered by WiFi-6 and Nokia Beacon 6.
- The third virtual fashion showcase would transform the shopping experience by encouraging users to put on clothes “virtually.”
In addition, the company’s network preparation, implementation, and integration services ensured that the network was launched on time.
Nokia 5G Cloud Mobility Manager, as a network feature, offers the scalability, flexibility, high availability, and efficiency needed to support the growth of mobile and enterprise services.
Safaricom benefits from Nokia’s NetAct network management system, which offers a centralized network view for better network monitoring and management.
“We are proud to be the first operator in East Africa to introduce 5G services, taking the benefits of 5G technology to our customers,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom.
“5G capabilities can change a lot of things in unprecedented ways for individuals and companies, playing a vital role in achieving our vision of changing lives.
The technologies and services experience of our long-term partner Nokia assisted us in reaching this milestone in our quest to deliver world-class broadband services to our customers, ” Ndegwa added.
“With over 200 commercial 5G deals with leading customers around the world, Nokia has been taking 5G network to every part of the world,” said Amr K. El Leithy, SVP, Middle East and Africa Market, Nokia.
Our 5G network for Safaricom is an essential part of this journey, and we are committed to working with the operator to change the country’s communications landscape. Safaricom will benefit from new business prospects as a result of this.” Leithy stated.