During the celebration of Huawei and Safaricom’s 14 year anniversary as a partners, Huawei said it’s a matter of time before the 4G+/5G technology starts being tested between the two and discussions about the technology are underway.

”Safaricom is a company that embraces and emphasizes a lot on use of new technologies and it’s a matter of time before the 4G+/5G technology starts being tested. Discussions for this are underway,” said Huawei in a statement. ”So far it’s a fairly straight forward workflow for the two companies, Huawei will innovate on 5G ready devices and network infrastructure for Safaricom to improve customer experience.”

The two firms says they will continue to strengthen their existing partnership by innovating more on devices and networks respectively starting with modernizing the 2G, 3G, Transmission, Core Network and billing (CBS) systems.

Huawei has also helped Safaricom establish a state of the art MPESA platform and are currently rolling out a 4G Network.  

This partnership has also strengthened the two companies’ relationship on device sales front. Safaricom has played a big role in facilitation of Huawei Mobile’s devices across the country with focus on all devices from flagship devices to low end devices.

Speaking during the celebration event in Nairobi, Bob Wang Tie, SFC Senior Director stated, ”Huawei’s main core value as putting the customers at the apex of everything a business does, which translates to why the company strives to ensure that Safaricom gets the best state of the art equipment and software, services, quick deployment time and operational flexibility. These are our main differentiating facts which have encouraged Safaricom to work with us.”

“I would like to take this opportunity to also recognize Safaricom’s effort in ensuring that our devices are readily available to customers across the market.  Since we entered the market 14 years ago they have been our support system in ensuring we reach to customers in the most remote areas of the country where we cannot be able to reach on our own”. Says Tie.

The improved business and operation integrations between the two companies has seen great efficiency on how customers use MPESA, the platform has become faster to transact and easier for Safaricom to plug in new customized features for users. In addition, 4G has greatly improved data network access which has provided high speed data exchange and quicker access to Safaricom billing services. By developing low cost sites communities living in remote areas of Kenya have managed to have easy access to communication services.

According to Victor Ngumo, Head of department, Safaricom Nairobi west the uptake of 4G is improving by day. The main challenge has been the availability of affordable 4G devices. This situation is however changing fast with many device vendors bringing in affordable but not cheap devices. With as little as five thousand Kenya shillings, one can buy a 4G device. This is still prohibitive though especially for the rural folks implying that the lower class population does not have the chance to use the 4G network.

Going forward, the device prices will eventually get lower and thus more affordable.