Safaricom 5G: The Future is here with endless Potential
A few days ago, I was at Village Market for a Safaricom 5G gaming experience. I had a chance to use the Formula 1 console and competed as Lewis Hamiton against the very best in the virtual F1. If you are a fan or you follow Formula 1 then you probably have heard drivers and pundits talk about the work they do on simulators to help in developing the car. Safaricom F1 gaming experience environment is not far off from what the drivers do on the simulators. Of course what made it more enjoyable is the ultra internet speed provided by Safaricom 5G. By the way, before I move far, this is the third opinion piece on 5G that we have done and you can read the early adopter piece here and three requirements to enjoy 5G here
While there, I had a chance to chat with a few gamers and shopkeepers around there and it was clear that gamers have at their fingertips the benefits of 5G while most shopkeepers struggled to make sense of how they would benefit from Safaricom 5G. For the gamers, 5G is faster than anything they have experienced before. We’re talking download speeds of up to 100 times faster than current 4G networks. I will come back to this later.
But for shopkeepers it was a different ball game and I spent the whole time discussing the real world use case for 5G outside the bubble of gamers. In particular we talked about how Safaricom 5G can benefit shop owners, farmers, healthcare, manufacturing, Agriculture and so on. Below are some of the points made.
How 5G can Transform Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and other towns
For a while the Government has spent money trying to build Konza Smart City and up to now much can not be said about Konza. On the other side of the town, Tatu Smart City is at least making some progress. But what if we turn our attention to existing cities like Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu and make them smart cities. The biggest problem with Konza is, it is like the chicken hen situation, which one came first.In this case the investors are waiting for people to go to Konza and people are waiting for investors to put in places amenities and buildings before they move in. The thing with existing cities you have both and the only stumbling block is how to make them smart. And that is where Safaricom 5G technology comes in to transform how people live and work. And here is how:
- Self-driving vehicles. 5G’s high bandwidth and low latency mean connected cars can communicate in real time. Taxi companies and buses could test autonomous taxis and buses on some selected Nairobi’s roads.
- Smart homes. 5G makes smart home devices like security cameras, thermostats and fridges more responsive and reliable. It is possible to make homes more energy efficient and secure.
- Drones. I guess you have heard that Kisumu is testing drones delivery of medicines to different health centers. The same concept that has been tried in Rwanda. 5G’s speed and capacity allows drones to be piloted remotely with precision. 5G is the key to making the concept much more viable and efficient. Meanwhile Safaricom themselves can use drones for delivery, inspection of infrastructure like cell towers, and monitoring traffic and the environment.
- Public services. With 5G, critical services like healthcare, education and transportation can be enhanced. Doctors could perform remote surgeries, students access virtual lessons, and transit systems leverage smart sensors.
Precision Agriculture: 5G Unlocks Potential for Farming Innovation
5G has the potential to transform farming in Kenya through precision agriculture. With 5G, farmers can leverage technologies like sensors, drones, and AI to gain insights into their crops and make data-driven decisions.
- Sensors can monitor soil conditions like moisture, pH, and nutrient levels. Drones and satellite imagery provide aerial views of crop growth and health. By analyzing all this data, farmers can determine the optimal conditions for their crops and take targeted action like irrigation, fertilizing, or pest control only where needed.
- 5G enables real-time monitoring and analysis of this data so farmers can respond quickly. They can receive alerts if there are any issues with their crops and address them right away before major losses. 5G also allows for remote operation of equipment like irrigation systems, saving farmers time and money.
- AI and machine learning tools can detect patterns in the data over time to provide recommendations and predict crop yields. Farmers can use these insights to improve planning and make strategic decisions about what and how much to plant to maximize profits.
- 5G paves the way for autonomous tractors, harvesters, and other farm machinery. With a fast, reliable network, these vehicles can operate on their own using GPS and sensors while still being monitored remotely. This could help reduce costs and increase efficiency for farmers.
From the look of it, one might think that only large scale farmers can afford some of the above tech tools and farming equipment but with help of the Government, It is possible to transform smallholder farms into highly connected, data-driven, and automated operations with 5G. Precision agriculture enabled by 5G may be key to improving crop yields, reducing waste, and boosting food security across Kenya. The possibilities for innovation in farming are endless with 5G.
5G Enables Disaster Response and Healthcare
In emergency situations, 5G’s high speed and low latency can make the difference between life and death. With 5G, ambulances and first responders can access critical patient data and diagnostics in real time while en route to an emergency site. Doctors at the destination hospital will already have details about the patient’s condition and can prepare to provide immediate treatment upon arrival.
5G also enables remote surgery and telemedicine. Specialists can guide procedures from offsite locations using high-resolution cameras and sensors. For people in remote areas, this means access to highly skilled doctors and advanced medical care that would otherwise be unavailable.
- Remotely guide ambulance staff to provide lifesaving care at the emergency site.
- Access patient records and diagnostics to prepare for emergency treatment.
- Enable specialists to guide complex medical procedures from offsite locations.
- Provide telemedicine and advanced care to remote or isolated communities.
Whether enabling first responders, empowering doctors to save lives from a distance, or coordinating disaster relief, 5G connectivity can make the difference between life and death in emergencies. For communities across Kenya, 5G could provide a lifeline when it’s needed most.
A Boost for Business: Accelerate Kenya’s Economy with Safaricom 5G
For businesses, 5G opens up possibilities like working from home, remote control of heavy machinery, real-time data analytics, and seamless video conferencing.
5G can be used to improve infrastructure like intelligent traffic management to reduce congestion, smart parking to help drivers find spaces, and smart waste management to optimize trash collection routes. Municipal and city services can leverage 5G connectivity and sensors to gain insights, automate processes and improve service delivery to business people . I believe with a little bit of investment by Government we we can have remote access to Huduma centers
Gaming : 5G gaming experience
I can’t go without talking more about gaming experience. Judging from Safaricom 5G experience centers and how 5G is making it easy to stream graphics-intensive games directly to their devices without delays. There is opportunity to establish competitive esports and gaming tournaments via 5G. The fast speeds will also support virtual reality and augmented reality gaming, creating an incredibly immersive experience for players.
Some possibilities for 5G gaming include:
- Playing console-quality games on your smartphone without lag.
- Competing in esports tournaments with low latency for precision gameplay.
- Exploring virtual worlds in VR with no buffering.
- Battling opponents in real-time AR games that blend digital elements into the real world.
So there you have it, a glimpse into what as a country we can do with 5G. I think what is needed now is affordable 5G enabled smartphones to open up a world of opportunities for businesses and change lives. Fasten your seatbelts, 5G is here, the future is now. Check Safaricom 5G coverage here