Policy Brief No.7, November 2020
By Walubengo John, Barrack Otieno
Edited by: Mwendwa Kivuva and Victor Kapiyo.

The objective of this study is to establish Kenya’s preparedness to deploy fifth-generation wireless networks (5G). The study reviews the historical progression of mobile networks through to the current 5G mobile technologies. It then highlights the technical properties and use-cases that 5G technologies have under the three categories, namely, the enhanced Mobile BroadBand (eMMB), the massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC), and the ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications (uRLLC). The study then reviews the global 5G state of play and contrasts that with a situational analysis for Kenya. It finds that whereas the Kenyan legal, policy, and regulatory frameworks are quite advanced, there is no specific, national 5G Strategy in place. This disadvantages Kenya’s ability to attract 5G investments while hampering its ability to stake a claim within the new digital value chain commonly known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). The study has established that the country is still not ready to effectively deploy and benefit from 5G technologies – particularly from a strategic, policy, and regulatory perspective. It proposes practical steps that need to be to address this and summarises them under the following:-

  • Set up a 5G Advisory Working Group
  • Publish Harmonized 5G Spectrum Roadmaps
  • Adopt Affordable 5G Auction Prices
  • Adopt a Shared 5G Spectrum and or Infrastructure
  • Enforce Common Wayleave Agreements
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