The penetration of internet in Kenya has seen successful launch of virtual shopping platforms such as kilimal and jumia, mobile money transactions as well as video conferencing. The need to seamlessly link with sectors such as banking, retail, education and health services has created a high demand for high speed internet connectivity in Kenya.
In a bid to meet the growing demand for high-speed internet, Kenya held the African Telecommunication Union (ATU), where they launched the high 700MHZ spectrum frequency in a meeting that was held for the first time in Kenya.
The 700MHZ spectrum is the highest quality wireless frequency enabling communication between corporate and individuals with Telco operators. The spectrum allows 4G LTE wireless communication of high speed data for mobile and other handheld devices.
4G is the fourth generation of mobile phone communication standards. It’s a successor of 3G and provides ultra-broadband internet access for mobile devices, it provides faster HD video streaming, cloud computing, 3D television and five times faster internet in a fluid and stress-free experience making buffering a thing of the past.
In our super-connected, fast paced, informational and technological age, it is a paradox that a huge percentage of Kenyans are however still uninformed or misinformed on the proper ways of using and utilizing 4G networks in the country. Since its inception in Kenya by Safaricom in December 2014, many people have continuously shied away or ignored the myriad of opportunities provided by the 4G network. Many people actually own 4G capable devices and have the slightest idea of the networks ability while some just don’t care and dismiss it as ineffectual. Some just assume it’s going to cost them more money to use and opt to still struggle with slow internet speeds and buffering associated with 3G networks which translate to poor quality work hence meager profits.
The 4G network is currently available to Safaricom subscribers in major towns like Nairobi and Mombasa as well as the environs. Airtel Kenya has also put plans in place to avail 4G network to their subscribers towards the end of the year. More firms have also expressed interests in the 4G network and include, Kenya Data Network, IBM, Epesi, Huawei, MTN Business, Cisco system, Access Kenya, Wananchi online and swift global. The Kenyan market has also seen the prices of 4G powered devices go down with the penetration of cheap 4G powered devices with one retailing as cheap as Ksh15,000.
With the introduction of the 700MHZ high-speed spectrum, the growth of 4G networking is inevitable and is unequivocally going to revolutionize communication in the country. Kenyans now have to really consider switching to 4G networks. Corporates and individuals have to start investing on 4G powered devices to enable them utilize the fast 4G network as well as the next gen 5G network Safaricom plans to introduce in Kenya. These fast speed networks are critical to the growth of ICT and satisfy the growing demand for fast internet connection.