The Key Differences Between Airtel Kenya’s & Safaricom’s 5G Offerings In Kenya.

Yesterday, the 6th of July 2023, Airtel Kenya officially launched their much-awaited 5G network. This comes 8 months after Safaricom did the same so Airtel Kenya will have some catching up to do to gain decent ground going forward. However, off the bat. Airtel Kenya’s 5G network is available in 28 towns across 21 counties with 370 active 5G sites in 180 wards.

Getting Connected To Airtel Kenya’s 5G Network.

To get connected to Airtel Kenya’s 5G network you need to invest in their 5G router which costs Kes. 10,000 or use a 5G-enabled smartphone that is compatible with their network. Airtel Kenya is offering an incentive of 50% bonus data for the first 6 months when you purchase their 5G Home Broadband data bundles which is a compelling proposition.

Airtel Kenya’s 5G Home Broadband 5G service comes with two bundles – the 5G Ultra which is a 30-day bundle with 300GB and is capped at 10GB per day for Kes. 2,999. The second 5G Ultra bundle is 600GB of data per month or 20GB per day priced at Kes. 5,000.00.

How Do Safaricom’s 5G Data Bundles Compare?

In comparison, Safaricom also has 30-day bundles in the form of the Basic 5G bundle which comes with 300GB of data capped at 10 Mbps for Kes. 3,499, the Standard 5G bundle with 500GB of data capped at 40 Mbps for Kes. 5,999 and finally the Extra 5G bundle with 1TB of data capped at 100 Mbps for an eye-watering Kes. 14,999.

When comparing Airtel Kenya’s and Safaricom’s 5G bundles, as well as their routers, it would seem that Airtel Kenya is the more cost-effective option across the board. However, a lower price does NOT necessarily mean that Airtel Kenya will be as fast or as reliable as Safaricom. Indeed, in the past, I have done reviews of all the 3G and 4G networks in Kenya and Safaricom was significantly faster and more reliable in each instance.

Airtel Kenya, unlike Safaricom, does NOT (yet?) have smartphone bundles so these rates are tied to the 5G router option where one is connected via WiFi in most instances or even via ethernet. That being said, provided your smartphone is 5G enabled, you can use the Airtel Kenya network. Airtel Kenya is also offering 10GB of free data once you activate their 5G network on a smartphone or 5G router with your KYC details,

Speaking of routers, one big difference is that Airtel Kenya’s 5G router is Kes. 10,000 whereas Safaricom’s is Kes. 25,000.00 with a connection fee of Kes. 5,000 so Kes. 30,000 in total. However, Safaricom does have a payment plan in place so you can pay for the router for as many as 36 months.

Airtel Kenya’s 5G Unlimited Enterprise Broadband Bundles.

Now, the part about Airtel Kenya’s 5G offerings that is really interesting is that they also have bundles for businesses called 5G Enterprise Broadband. These are different from the 5G Home Broadband bundles in that they are unlimited! Yes, this would be a first in Kenya but of course, a fair usage policy applies. I’m not sure exactly how Airtel Kenya is able to distinguish a home or business 5G network user in this regard but the rates for the 5G Enterprise Broadband bundles seem impressive!

The 5G Unlimited 10Mbps bundle is valid for 30 days and is priced at Kes. 3,500 per month. The 5G Unlimited 30Mbps bundle is priced at only Kes. 5,500 per month and the 5G Unlimited 50Mbps bundle is priced at only Kes. 7,500. So, basically, what this means is that it’s significantly more cost-effective to use Airtel Kenya’s 5G Enterprise Broadband bundles rather than their 5G Home Broadband bundles. However, the fair usage policy or FUP kicks in at 10TB, 15TB, and 20TB respectively.

The Bottomline On 5G In Kenya Where Airtel Kenya & Safaricom Are Concerned.

In conclusion, it’s still early days but clearly Airtel Kenya is positioning their 5G network as a more affordable option than Safaricom’s. Secondly, like Safaricom, Airtel Kenya is squarely prioritizing home users and businesses for 5G routers as this is clearly going to be the primary access point given that 5G smartphones remain relatively expensive and somewhat sparse in the market. Lastly, Aitel Kenya’s 5G Unlimited Enterprise Broadband bundles have the potential to grab lots of SME customers in areas where fiber-based Internet is not yet available or is expensive.

Previous post

[Video & Audio Podcast] A Conversation On The IO Kenya Podcast About My Life & An Almost 30-Year Career In Kenya's & Africa's Internet Industry.

Next post

Starlink's Satellite-Based High-Speed Internet Service To Go Live In Kenya In A Few Weeks & Here's What You Need To Know About It.

No Comment

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.