In a statement to journalists earlier this week, Matano Ndaro, the director of licensing, compliance and standards at the Communications Authority of Kenya, has announced that 5G is coming to the country in 2022.
The representative of Kenya's telecommunication industry regulator said in Nairobi that Kenya will roll out pilot 5G networks this year.
He added that the regulator has developed a roadmap that outlines strategies to facilitate the deployment of 5G technology. This, it seems, will start with the holding of a validation workshop in the next month at which comments from stakeholders will be discussed.
The next step will be to establish a national 5G forum and allocate pilot frequencies. Still within 2022, the plan is then to authorize the first 5G pilot projects and release the spectrum required. After that 5G commercial licenses can be issued. It’s not clear if an auction will be involved and, of so, how bidders will be chosen.
Ndaro added that Kenya's operators have already begun the process of deploying 5G infrastructure across the country.
The news was reported by China’s Xinhua news service, not too surprisingly perhaps as Chinese smartphone maker Vivo was launching a 5G-enabled device in Kenya at the time of Ndaro’s comments.
The Communications Authority of Kenya estimates that 3G and 4G coverage in Kenya covers over 96 percent of the country's population, or about 56.3 percent of the actual land area.