Safaricom to install 500 new 4G base stations by year-end

31 Oct 2016

Safaricom, Kenya’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, has revealed the full commercial availability of its 4G LTE network in the cities of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Eldoret, Meru and Kisii, bringing the total number of counties covered by the service up to 30. The firm says it has embarked on a rollout programme to install an additional 500 4G base stations before the end of the year, which will increase the firm’s 3G and 4G footprint to more than 4,600 sites across the country.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that Safaricom is currently the market’s sole provider of commercial LTE services, which were launched on a limited basis in Nairobi and Mombasa in December 2014.

In a related development, director general of the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), Francis Wangusi, was quoted by The Star as saying that the regulator reportedly plans to issue 4G spectrum licences to the country’s three incumbent mobile operators by the end of November. Safaricom, Airtel Kenya and Telkom Kenya will allegedly each be required to pay a fee of USD25 million for the 800MHz concessions.