5G is the 5th generation mobile network. It is a new global wireless standard after 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. 5G enables a new kind of network that is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects, and devices.

5G wireless technology is meant to deliver higher multi-Gbps peak data speeds, ultra-low latency, more reliability, massive network capacity, increased availability, and a more uniform user experience to more users.

The previous generations of mobile networks are 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G.

First generation - 1G

1980s: 1G delivered analog voice.

Second generation - 2G

Early 1990s: 2G introduced digital voice (e.g. CDMA- Code Division Multiple Access).

Third generation - 3G

Early 2000s: 3G brought mobile data (e.g. CDMA2000).

Fourth generation - 4G LTE

2010s: 4G LTE ushered in the era of mobile broadband.

1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G all led to 5G, which is designed to provide more connectivity than was ever available before.

5G is a unified, more capable air interface. Compared to 4G, 5G has the potential to provide up to 20X faster data speeds and carry a massive amount of data for many simultaneous users. This allows users in high density areas to enjoy the fast speeds and low latency of 5G service.

Yes, 5G is already here today for Safaricom customers in select locations in 28 towns across 21 counties, with more coverage expansion planned countrywide. To check 5G coverage visit internet.safaricom.co.ke

If you already own a 5G device, you don’t need a new phone. If your device is not 5G capable you can visit any of our Safaricom shop outlets where we have a wide range of 5G enabled phones that you can purchase. In addition, you will need to be in an area that has 5G coverage.

There are several mobile phones available that are designed to support 5G from manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung, Nokia, Huawei and Oppo.

No, your normal SIM card will work.

"Backward compatible" 5G phones can function on older networks outside of 5G coverage areas. The experience will reflect the technology available at the time.

Yes, the currently supported devices will continue to work.

Customers and businesses in 5G-ready zones can access Safaricom 5G Wi-Fi by purchasing a 5G router and a data package. Customers can also purchase Safaricom 5G ready mobile data bundles for use on 5G enabled phones.

Learn more about 5G Wi-Fi for Home here Wireless Solutions (safaricom.co.ke)

Learn more about 5G Wi-Fi for Business here 5G for Business (safaricom.co.ke)

Learn more about 5G mobile data plans here 5G for Mobile Data Monthly Bundles FAQs (safaricom.co.ke)

Yes, 5G can change your home internet service with the super-fast speeds and low latency provided by 5G Wi-Fi. You will need a 5G router to enjoy the service.

5G fixed wireless internet connects you to 5G network using a 5G router and a SIM card. A 30-day subscription package is available for purchase providing speeds up to 100Mbps.

5G could refer to two things.

  1. 5th generation network following 4th generation commonly referred to as 4G.
  2. Frequency band in the 5GHz range.

The 5G label on a home Wi-Fi router indicates that it operates in the 5GHz (gigahertz) spectrum band. Wi-Fi is based on a different technology than 5G or fifth-generation wireless. On a home modem or router, it stands for “5GHz” and it’s one of the two frequency bands routers can use to broadcast WIFI through your home. You might see it as an option next to 2.4 GHz.

5G is around 100 times faster than 4G! Given enough spectrum, it will work at average speeds of 150-200Mbps, and peak speeds will reach above 1Gbps. This means you’ll be able to download a full HD film in around 3 minutes (compared to over 15 minutes on 4G).

5G works at average speeds of 150-200Mbps, while 4G works at average speeds of only 23-35Mbps. By default, 5G will reach peak speeds higher than 1Gbps, but basic 4G works at a maximum speed of only 150Mbps.

5G speeds can vary and depend on multiple factors: how far away you are from a mast, which spectrum is being used, and how many people around you are using 5G.

Movies, gaming or music downloads are more convenient and amplified with 5G. If you have many different devices to connect inside a large home, 5G supports your experience on each device so that it’s seamless and uninterrupted.

Broadly speaking, 5G is used across three main types of connected services, including enhanced mobile broadband, mission-critical communications, and the massive IoT. A defining capability of 5G is that it is designed for forward compatibility—the ability to flexibly support future services that are unknown today.

  • Enhanced mobile broadband: In addition to making our smartphones better, 5G mobile technology can usher in new immersive experiences such as VR and AR with faster, more uniform data rates, lower latency, and lower cost-per-bit.
  • Mission-critical communications: 5G can enable new services that can transform industries with ultra-reliable, available, low-latency links like remote control of critical infrastructure, vehicles, and medical procedures.
  • Massive IoT: 5G is meant to seamlessly connect a massive number of embedded sensors in virtually everything through the ability to scale down in data rates, power, and mobility—providing extremely lean and low-cost connectivity solutions.

5G will support businesses’ innovation ambitions and create new markets, transforming supply chain management and creating smarter, more efficient manufacturing. It’s also a fundamental platform for the Internet of Things (IoT). It is expected that more than half of all new businesses will rely on the “IoT” to cut costs, build efficiencies, and grow their bottom lines.

5G will potentially be able to handle more than 1million connected devices per square kilometer. This opens new opportunities for Smart Cities and Smart Homes. Other near-term services would include Realtime Gaming, and new opportunities in Entertainment with Virtual Reality and Augmented reality.

Smart cities employ use of electronic Sensors and Measurements to provide services and respond to challenges. For example, utility companies can have IoT meters to alert home owners on upcoming bills or to alert the utility company on leakages. Activity triggered sensors can alert in case of vandalism in isolated locations. Smart traffic lights can respond to traffic situation rather than work on a timer. Street lights can be controlled to respond not only to daylight hours, but also environmental situation e.g. Narrower streets can light sooner etc.

There are opportunities in both traffic control and driverless cars. For the former, traffic information such as alerts on traffic jams, suggestions of alternative routes, real time traffic monitoring etc. are some of the use cases and for the latter we can’t reach the full promise of autonomous vehicles without 5G. For these cars to react to road conditions immediately, their sensors need to be able to send and receive data with low latency. 5G has the potential to cut latency down to less than 10 milliseconds, many times faster than the blink of an eye.

There are several opportunities in Health care as well. 5G could elevate virtual healthcare to new levels, enabling even more effective remote care for those who need it most. There is already ongoing research on capabilities such as remote surgeries by use of Robots and the 5G network.

All equipment used for 5G must comply with stringent safety standards. Those standards have wide safety margins and are designed to protect everyone, including children. Everyday exposure to the radio frequency energy from 5G small cells will be well within those safety limits and is comparable to exposure from products such as baby monitors, Wi-Fi routers, and Bluetooth devices.

It is scientifically impossible for radiofrequency waves at any frequency to create a virus, including radio waves used to provide 5G. The World Health Organization and the CDC have been clear about the origins of this virus: The WHO says, “Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.” The CDC says coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats

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