With the company having already completed its testing and trials of the network’s new high-speed mobile connections, the news definitely came as a surprise to analysts and stakeholders alike.
Many had expected that Safaricom would make its 5G service operational by the end of 2020 or sometime in the first quarter of 2021. However, CEO Peter Ndegwa says the company will now focus on transferring the network's millions of existing subscribers still operating on 2G and 3G servers to a 4G service instead.
However, while Safaricom has provided no further explanations, there have been speculations in the Kenyan press that security concerns related to Huawei equipment also contributed to the decision.
These speculations are purportedly fed by the current US administration's worldwide campaign to aiming to discourage countries and telcos from adopting Huawei's networking equipment in their new 5G networks due to the company’s alleged “close ties to the Chinese military and intelligence communities as well as the Communist Party.”