Safaricom 5G trials in Kenya

Well,I think very few of us care about 5G anymore considering 4G LTE is serving us well enough.

great work, Thank you. this info will make my choice clear.

Well, some few updates.
I’ve been passively hunting Safaricom 5G for the past month. As at 20th September 2021, i have roamed around Garissa, Garsen, Hola, Thika, Thika Road, Ngong Road, Nairobi CBD, Industrial Area, Southern bypass from Langata to Kikuyu. Nakuru, Eldoret, Kitale, Kapenguria, Lodwar , Bomet, Narok where i haven’t picked any 5G signal.
I have seen Tweets of folks receiving Safaricom 5G in Kilifi and Amboseli.

Back to my story, on Friday, i passed through Kisii and was almost giving up then picked the signal around Posta and ABSA area. Below are the photos and some screenshots.
I had nperf app ready for mapping and Netmonster for logging cells.

Standby screen.

A Google search of band code ARFCN 635328 from Netmonster confirms the frequency if 3.5Ghz.


Here is the conversion.

So Safaricom is using the 3.5Ghz frequency as stated in one of the Tweets quoted above.

As stated in my previous post, Safaricom is implementing a Non stand alone 5G which means you can’t receive 5G without 4G. Netmonster indicates that carrier aggregation is 10Mhz+20mhz+20Mhz. for 5G.

In the screenshot, Safaricom is using 3 bands of which two are 4G and one is 5G! Check the 3CC icon/symbol on top left of the screen shot.
Note that for 4G+, the carrier aggregation bandwidth is 10Mhz+20Mhz.
I did some speed test as indicated below. Gulps around 300Mb of data per test.




Highlighted below are the speeds compared to Waiyaki Way test.

Finally, as the signal waned, Netmonster had an interesting take.


Nperf couldn’t log the 5G signal, somehow it mapped it as 4G+ hence Kisii doesn’t appear on the nPerf 5G coverage map.

In other news. I’ve noticed Airtel has deployed 4G on Band 1(2100Mhz) , Band 20 (800Mhz) and Band 3(1800Mhz). Airtel 4G coverage in Kenya is improving rapidly.

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All these areas within 1 Month!?

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Any 5G coverage in Nakuru!

Yes. I moved around for other engagements so i took advantage to hunt signals.

Been there on 4 different days, not picked any 5G signals.

Have you tried Ookla 5G Map - Tracking 5G Network Rollouts Around the World

It has limited data, did some 5G speed tests and hope they update it.

I also picked 5G signals outside Two Rivers Mall.

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Have you tried Mombasa?

I’ve not but i might visit next month. Check the Tweet below.
I am on Twitter: “5G on the ocean. Gaddamit” / Twitter

I like the way people are running all over the place hunting 5G like it was bigfoot. What makes it so funny to see is knowing that when it is finally launched Safaricom will charge an arm and a leg for it. I saw someone saying that they’ll have to do away with FUP on 5G. The writing is on the wall. Safaricom has FUP on Fiber connections. How, then, do you expect truly unlimited data on a wireless connection?

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That does explain the Ksh. 20 for a gb of data only for an hour

I don’t think so. I think they’ll keep the same pricing. if its fixed, they’ll follow the same tiered pricing in 4G/LTE fixed plans but may add more packages. If its the usual bundles, the unit price will remain the same. Its the same price across 2G,3G and 4G. If you recall, they tried differentiated pricing in the early LTE days but it didn’t work out.