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Safaricom says it will not phase out 4G network soon

Leading mobile firm Safaricom has said it will not phase out the Fourth Generation
Leading mobile firm Safaricom has said it will not phase out the Fourth Generation (4G) network with 5G anytime soon. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Leading mobile firm Safaricom has said it will not phase out the Fourth Generation (4G) network with 5G anytime soon.

The company says 4G network still has a long way to go in terms of technological advancements.

Safaricom Network Director James Maitai said the company will start by phasing out 2G network.

“We would wish to improve our services to the most advance technology in the market and this is what the company envisions,” Mr Maitai said adding that the telco is investing heavily in the 4G network since it is efficient and better.

“At the moment, we are not seeing 5G to be a customer-oriented product, however this might change,” he stated.

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“The downside of the 5G is that it consumes a lot of energy and runs on a higher data capacity.”

Nevertheless, he said the company is doing trials with the 5G network and that they are working to acquire the necessary spectrum.

Mr Maitai said the company now enjoys more than 70 percent coverage of 4G network in prime areas including major urban and rural towns.

“4G covers over 50 percent of our data traffic, which definitely tells you the growth in the traffic has undergone a double-digit growth,” he stated.

“We have also started connecting homes with fibres” he said.

This week being the Customer Service Week, Mr Maitai says Safaricom has introduced a range of products and services that to “improve customer experience”. Some of the products include affordable smartphones, user-friendly apps – Zuri and Safaricom data manager— and inexpensive data and voice services.

He said they have already launched Voice Over Long-Term (VOLTI), that enables customers to make calls with 4G.

“4G gadgets penetration has been a major issue, but the company has subsidised the cost of the phones to enable customers experience the network,” Mr Maitai said.

Thanks to the launch of affordable smartphones, he noted villagers who previously did not have access to internet can get information at a click of a button.

“Farmers can now access application like Digi Farm that can educate them on proper farming methods. We will continue to invest in digital applications that will help our customers,” he said adding that security of the customers’ data is central to their operations.

“As a company we value security and that is why we brought in Jitambulishe to minimise frauds.”

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