What’s the deal with 5G?

The basic facts about the fifth generation of wireless technology are simple. Once it’s switched on, 5G will offer download speeds of at least 20 gigabits per second and response time (latency) of less than 1 millisecond.

Think about this for a minute.

With this kind of speeds, you will be able to download a high-resolution movie in two seconds. With 4G/LTE you would be able to download the same movie in 6 minutes at best and with 3G it would take about you 26 hours.

It also means that your videos will never buffer and with a latency of less than 1 millisecond, you can never again fake your call dropping because with 5G that will never happen.

But 5G is not just about faster downloads speeds and swifter connections. The technology is set to become the connective tissue for the internet of things (I0T), linking anything from smartphones and drones to wireless sensors and factory robots and even self-driving cars.

These fascinating capabilities will be achieved through a technique known as, ‘Network Slicing’ which is a way of creating separate 5G networks layers on the cloud, to allow operators to create their own bespoke networks.

For instance, an automated vehicle assembly plant in Thika town requires faster response time and greater data capacity compared to you who just wants to check your Instagram.

Global telecommunications giant Huawei, which is leading the world in spreading of 5G, says that this technology will transform businesses in the same way 4G transformed consumers.

From broadcasting to manufacturing and even health services, the enterprise segment will be where 5G can fulfil its promise.

The significant thing about this super-fast technology is that it is arriving at a time when other technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine-learning and Internet of Things are maturing.

It means that the productivity gains for operators who have already adopted these technologies within their businesses processes will be compounded by the strength of 5G.  

This year alone Huawei says that it has rolled 5 G to over 80 networks globally reaching 70 million subscribers.

The company currently controls a 29% market share of all telecommunications equipment in the world and posts revenues in excess 100 Billion dollars annually.

It is this Chinese tech giant that also makes the most advanced 5G gear. Far outpacing competitors Nokia and Swedish company Ericsson, thanks to the millions of dollars it pours into research and development each year.  

In Kenya, the company went a step further to administer a 6-day course that teaches university students the concepts, use cases and technology standards of 5G technology.


Sylvia Kimpkemboi a 3rd -year Telecommunications student at JKUAT says that the well-explained diagrams and videos accompanying the course made it effective and easy to grasp.

“The models and statistics illustrating the comparison of 5G with LTE (4G) and 3G also really put it into perspective,” She said.

Sylvia was among the 240 students from 13 universities who participated in the 6-day course. The training was conducted by Huawei’s global renowned specialist Mr Ding Yajie.

Oh hi there 👋
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox, every month.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.