Kenyan mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Equitel (Finserve) wants to strengthen its position in the Kenyan Internet market. The MVNO specializing in financial services and mobile telephony announced on Tuesday February 27 that it had launched commercial 5G in the country, in partnership with mobile network operator Airtel.

Equitel believes that 5G will ensure “  faster and more reliable connectivity that will strengthen businesses, communities and individuals, enabling them to actively engage in the digital economy  ”. The service is currently available on approximately 370 sites nationally. It is expected to soon be extended to densely populated areas such as residential neighborhoods, shopping malls and central business districts.

The newly launched 5G is in addition to the 4G that Equitel deployed from August 2021. The company joins mobile network operators Safaricom and Airtel who deployed the latest generation mobile technology in October 2022 and July 2023 respectively. It is strengthening its position in a mobile services market in which it only held a 2.2% share in September 2023, according to the Communications Authority (CA). In the broadband segment, its market share was 1.6%.

While 5G adoption is still embryonic in Kenya (510,000 subscribers at the end of September 2023), Equitel is positioning itself to better benefit from the expected increase in demand for broadband connectivity in Africa over the course of the next few years. According to the Global Association of Mobile Operators and Manufacturers (GSMA), two-thirds of mobile subscribers in sub-Saharan Africa will be connected to 4G or 5G in 2030. This growth in demand is also expected to contribute to increased revenues. telecom operators which will increase from $48 billion in 2022 to $58 billion in 2030.

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