Telkom will dedicate 1 billion shillings into the expansion and optimization of its 4G and 3G network that will see to the improvement of mobile connectivity across the country while boosting the quality of service to customers.
Mugo Kibati, Telkom Kenya’s CEO, said that the company is committed to ensuring that its position as Kenya’s preferred Data network remains entrenched.
“This can only be achieved through the evolution of our network to become a stronger and future fit Telco. The strategic support from our shareholders and other partners is giving impetus to our data network expansion strategy,” he said.
Telkom will also invest in its Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB) Network, which is set to improve the quality of service offered to enterprise and corporate customers. The focus will include investments into access, core, transmission and IT components; infrastructure that is crucial to further improve network reliability and accessibility.
The company’s network expansion agenda incorporates a pilot with Loon LLC, a sister company to Google and a subsidiary of Alphabet, to launch an innovative 4G/LTE access network service in Kenya.
The network will utilize the use of high altitude balloons acting as floating cell towers, giving network coverage to unserved and underserved areas, around the Mount Kenya region, including Thika, Nakuru, Nyeri, and Nanyuki. This is expected within the first half of the year, 2019.
Data from the Communications Authority for the quarter ending September 30, 2018, shows the country’s mobile subscriptions currently stand at 46.6 million – a growth of 2.4 percent, when compared to 45.5 million subscriptions recorded as at June 30, 2018, earning the country a 100.1 mobile penetration rate.
“The rapid diffusion of mobile technology and the advent of entry-level smart devices in Kenya, has witnessed the increased demand for broadband. Access to and use of broadband, enhance productivity and efficiency, thereby bolstering socio-economic growth,” Kibati said.
In partnership with the regulator, the Communications Authority (CA), Telcos are putting up base stations to boost network connectivity across the country, expected to bring in about 300,000 Kenyans to the country’s communication grid.
The CA awarded Telkom the construction of 14 GSM sites to cover 28 sub-locations in 9 counties, under the auspices of the Universal Service Fund – USF, that is tasked to finance national projects that have a significant impact on the availability and accessibility of ICTs in rural and remote areas. Of the 14 GSM sites, 12 are already on air, increasing traffic, with 2 sites in progress.
According to the CEO, Telkom has ensured that these sites are scalable and integrated the use of green solutions in the construction of the same.
“We are pleased to note that the installation of two of the sites; one in Chepyuk and the other in Korng’otuny, both in Bungoma County, have been of great help towards improving security efforts in the area,” he concluded.