5G. The
Artificial Intelligence
The Communication Authority
Universal Service Fund

Synergy that’ll harness ability of mobile tech

When the mobile phone first came to Kenya it allowed us to stay connected, through calls and text messages. Then you could transfer money and later, access the Internet – that has grown from GPRS, EDGE, 3G, 3.5G, 4G and now advanced to 5G. The gradual shift from feature phones, pagers to smartphones and devices, there is little that these cannot do today.

Mobile technology continues to redefine its place in everyday life and business. The rapid diffusion of mobile technology and the advent of affordable smart devices in Kenya have seen increased demand for broadband, whose use has opened up individuals and firms to the rest of the world, besides enhancing productivity and efficiency for socio-economic growth.

Apps, in particular have enriched different facets of life, such as transportation, health, banking, and agriculture.

The 4G (fourth generation) network has allowed fast upload and download speeds, making it possible to execute complex technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and what is now becoming synonymous with technology – the Internet of Things (IoT) and availability of content.

With the ongoing global shift towards 5G we are up for even faster connection with more complex technologies being introduced.

Already, the first 5G network has been turned on, drawing us closer to the reality that is self-driven cars and remote surgery, thanks to improved speeds and latencies.

To harness the full benefits of technology, all players should be a part of the process. Device manufacturers, for instance, have taken up continuous innovation to match user expectations. Telcos, on the other hand, have to provide cutting- edge infrastructure to enhance user experience.

The Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) is leading industry efforts to ensure that mobile infrastructure proliferates every part of the country, to boost quality of service.

In partnership with the CA, telcos are putting up base stations to boost network connectivity, an effort expected to bring about 300,000 previously excluded Kenyans onto the country’s communication grid. An initiative of the Universal Service Fund is financing national projects with significant impact on the availability and accessibility of ICTs in rural and remote areas.

All these parts – devices, infrastructure and operating environment – are key to completing the jigsaw puzzle that is delivering customers’ expectations of mobile technology.

The future is smart and ICTs will play a crucial role in enabling Kenya realise its development agenda. Calls for concerted and sustained efforts as well as investment to realise this cannot be underscored enough.

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