Safaricom pays USD25m for 4G licence

6 Jan 2017

Safaricom, Kenya’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, has paid a fee of USD25 million for a licence to provide 4G LTE services across the country. Business Daily cites a statement from the Communications Authority of Kenya’s (CA’s) Director of Human Resources, Juma Kandie, as saying that the country’s other two wireless network operators, Airtel and Telkom Kenya, ‘are still in the process of doing [LTE] trials, after which they shall be given offers for a 4G licence [during] the course of 2017’. Safaricom has already launched a limited LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) network in Nairobi and Mombasa in December 2014, with coverage of other major towns added in October 2016.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that the CA gave Airtel and Telkom approval to start testing 4G using their current spectrum allocations in April 2015. The CA is offering licences for 10MHz of 800MHz spectrum to the three incumbent mobile network operators for USD25 million each, although it was proposed that the trio would also be obliged to share at least 30% of their 4G network capacity with smaller players, including MVNOs and tier-two infrastructure providers.