Telkom will dedicate Kshs 1 billion into the expansion and optimisation of its 4G and 3G network. The network roll-out will see to the improvement of mobile connectivity, boosting the quality of service to customers.
Telkom CEO Mugo Kibati, says: “It remains our objective to entrench our position as Kenya’s preferred Data network, which 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.”
In addition to improving mobile connectivity, 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 improving network reliability and accessibility.
Telkom’s network expansion agenda includes a pilot with Loon, a sister company to Google and a subsidiary of Alphabet, to launch a 4G/LTE access network service in Kenya, through the use of high altitude balloons acting as floating cell towers, giving network coverage to unserved and under-served areas, around the Mount Kenya region, including: Thika, Nakuru, Nyeri and Nanyuki. This is expected within the first half of this year.
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 per cent, when compared to 45.5 million subscriptions recorded as at June 30, 2018, earning the country a 100.1 mobile penetration rate.
Kibati adds: “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, enhances productivity and efficiency, thereby bolstering socio-economic growth.”
In partnership with the regulator, the Communications Authority (CA), telcos are currently putting up base stations to boost network connectivity across the country, expected to bring in about 300,000 people to Kenya’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 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.
Kibati says: “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.”
Kenya’s current mobile penetration is above the 100 percent mark; attributable to most users owning more than one SIM card from different service providers.