Kenya’s Safaricom suspends China’s Huawei 5G mobile network rollout

In what came as a surprise to many, Kenya’s largest telecom operator, Safaricom has suspended the planned roll-out of Huawei’s 5G mobile network service.

Earlier on, the acting CEO of Safaricom, Michael Joseph made a public address in which he disclosed that trial tests on the much-criticized 5G network was completed awaiting roll-out.

The tech giant earmarked the end of the just ended year 2020 to make the 5G services available to internet users in the East African country.

However, the Chief Executive Officer of Safaricom, Peter Ndegwa stated that the company will focus on upgrading the network services of the millions of existing 2G and 3G customers to 4G service instead; a statement which is in sharp contrast with that of the acting CEO.

What is publicly known is the fact that Huawei’s 5G network service has been consistently criticized by the US government citing its “close ties to the Chinese military and intelligence communities as well as the Communist Party.”

What accounted for the sadden change of decision is not so far known and is equally not clear if the new turn-around is influenced by the criticisms as there is no official statement from either side in relation to this new development.

We will follow with keen interest and provide all the necessary updates.

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