The number of fifth-generation (5G) network users in Kenya has climbed to 509,737 in the three months ending September, according to the Kenyan Communication Authority (CA).

According to the most recent CA statistics, this is a 13.3% increase over the 449,794 users documented by the authorities in June.

Kenya was one of the first African countries to launch the 5G network. Safaricom, the country’s largest carrier, launched the network commercially in October of last year following months of testing. It was subsequently followed by Airtel, which launched the network over a year later, in July of this year.

According to the CA statistics, the country’s achievements are driving a rise in demand for high internet speeds.

When Safaricom first deployed the network, CEO Peter Ndegwa stated that it was the first step in enabling its retail and enterprise clients to begin exploring new options provided by 5G.

Safaricom has since expanded its 5G connectivity to select communities across 35 counties as of November of this year.

Bomet, Busia, Isiolo, Kitui, Mandera, Migori, Tharaka-Nithi, Trans Nzoia, Homa Bay, West Pokot, Embu, Kirinyaga, Muranga, and Turkana are among the new counties where 5G is now available in select locations.

They join Nairobi, Kiambu, Mombasa, Kisumu, Uasin Gishu, Nakuru, Garissa, Kajiado, Kisii, Machakos, Kakamega, Kilifi, Siaya, Kericho, Kwale, Laikipia, Marsabit, Meru, Narok, Nyeri, and Vihiga as counties where Safaricom 5G is already available.

“By increasing 5G coverage, we are enhancing Kenya’s best internet network and empowering our customers to start exploring the possibilities of 5G,” Peter said in a statement.

Airtel, on the other hand, has announced intentions to build an additional 100 5G stations around the country by the end of the year.

The operator announced in November that the rollout of new 5G sites will expand from 180 to 221 wards and from 15 to 32 counties.

After the rollout, Airtel’s 5G presence will be in Nairobi, Kiambu, Mombasa, Nakuru, Uasin Gishu, Machakos, Kisumu, Kilifi, Kajiado, Kwale, Kakamega, Bomet, Embu, Homabay, Kericho, Kirinyaga, Laikipia, Meru, Busia, Garissa, Migori, Bungoma, Muranga, Kisii, Kitui, Makueni, Taita Taveta, Tana River, Nyamira, Nyeri, Siaya and Nyandarua.

Airtel Kenya said it will gradually put out 5G network stations to assure final presence in all counties. This would allow more Kenyans, households, and businesses to benefit from the 5G network’s boundless possibilities.

“The 5G network is about faster internet and connecting people, businesses, and communities in previously unimaginable ways.” Our dedication to innovation and connectivity is strong, and we are thrilled to be a part of this new era of possibilities.” Ashish Malhotra, Managing Director of Airtel Kenya, stated.

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