Safaricom embarks on USD335m upgrade plan

30 Oct 2014

Ventures Africa reports that Safaricom, Kenya’s largest mobile operator by users, has revealed plans to invest KES30 billion (USD335 million) in upgrading and expanding its infrastructure to improve its voice and data offerings. Safaricom currently has 3,140 2G base stations covering around 90% of the population in addition to 1,847 3G cell sites with around 58% population coverage, and intends to invest the cash over the coming six months on expanding and upgrading base stations nationwide, involving converting existing 2G sites to 3G whilst also raising voice/data network capacity. Safaricom’s CEO Bob Collymore said: ‘Over the last year we have seen a lot of growth in data and voice traffic, which necessitates us to better our infrastructure.’ The CEO added that upgrades will have a dual focus on improving 3G capacity in urban areas where data consumption is highest, whilst aiming to reach a further 9% of the population currently unserved by Safaricom with 2G GSM services initially. The upgrades to 3G capacity in urban areas will also bring the cellco closer to readiness for the future planned implementation of 4G LTE upgrades.

Kenya, Safaricom