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Kenya Launches its Third 5G Network

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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In partnership with Airtel, Equitel, the mobile virtual network provider of Finserve—a fully-owned subsidiary of Equity Group Holdings, formerly Equity Bank Group—the largest retail bank in Kenya—has introduced its fifth-generation connectivity service. 


Although it is the first 5G service supported by an MVNO in Africa, it is the third to enter the Kenyan market.

Locations To Experience Equitel’s 5G Network Expansion

Central business districts, retail centers, and residential areas will all be included in Equitel’s 5G network expansion.

370 locations, including Mombasa, Nairobi, Athi River, Kisumu, Kakamega, Bungoma, Eldoret, and Siaya, will be connected by the new network.

Requirements Needed To Access The Network 

Users will require a 4G-LTE SIM card and a 5G-enabled smartphone in order to access the Equitel 5G network. Those who are still using a 3G SIM card will need to convert to a 4G-LTE SIM card at any Equity Bank branch in their area. 

In addition, this is the nation’s third attempt to deploy a 5G network, after Safaricom’s in 2021 and Airtel Kenya’s in 2023. According to data from the Communications Authority, as of September 2023, there were 509,737 5G users, representing a 13.3% (or 59,943) increase in subscribers.

Benefits of The Equitel 5G Network 

According to a statement from Equitel, the network will enable businesses, densely populated areas, and internet-hungry people to participate in activities within the digital economy by offering faster and more dependable internet connectivity.

Equitel has become a household name in mobile banking by providing users with a variety of convenient, affordable, and easily accessible channels through which to conduct financial transactions. The service is competing with Safaricom’s M-PESA for a spot in the mobile money market. 


Innovation is essential to the success of the continent’s MVNOs, according to Salman Tariq, VP for Europe, Middle East, and Africa at Optivia, a cloud telecom company that has been operating in the African telecom market for more than ten years.

“MVNOs, with their focus on niche markets, are in a prime position to propel the expansion and uptake of digital services and connectivity that are customized to meet the demands of particular markets. Tariq stated in his 2024 outlook that “their flexibility and attention to specific clientele groups enable them to innovate and offer services that might not be financially feasible for larger MNOs.”


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Abdullahi Kafayat
Abdullahi Kafayat

Abdullahi Kafayat is an enthusiastic writer interested in the tech world. She's a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University and has a BSc in Chemistry. You can reach her at Kafayatabdullahi17@gmail.com.

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