Gi­ant Sa­fari­com to get Sh2.5 bil­lion 4G li­cence

The ex­pan­sion pro­gramme will in­crease Sa­fari­com’s 4G base sta­tions from 500 to more than 1,000 be­fore end of the year

The Star (Kenya) - - News Business - WEIT­ERE MWITA @MwitaMartin

Sa­fari­com will re­ceive its 4G spec­trum li­cence next month, the Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Author­ity of Kenya has said.

The per­mit is a boost to the telco, which will to­day roll out an ex­pan­sion pro­gramme in seven ma­jor towns.

The CA di­rec­tor gen­eral Fran­cis Wan­gusi yes­ter­day said the author­ity is fi­nal­is­ing the process be­fore hand­ing over the li­cence, ap­proved by the tech­ni­cal com­mit­tee.

“By end of Novem­ber we will have given them the li­cence. They have, how­ever, al­ready rolled out in ma­jor towns,” Wan­gusi told the Star on the phone.

The three firms in the pro­gramme – Sa­fari­com, Air­tel and Tel­com Kenya – will pay $25 mil­lion (Sh2.53 bil­lion) for the au­tho­ri­sa­tion.

Sa­fari­com and Air­tel were last year is­sued with 4G spec­trum on a pi­lot ba­sis, but only Sa­fari­com has rolled out the ser­vice.

“The rest are on the way to roll out. They have done the plan­ning, ac­quired equip­ment, but it is yet to ar­rive in the coun­try. We have agreed by March next year they should have rolled out,” Wan­gusi said.

The launch of the ex­pan­sion pro- gramme will in­crease Sa­fari­com’s 4G base sta­tions from 500 to more than 1,000 be­fore the end of the year.

The pro­ject will also in­crease the firm’s 3G and 4G foot­print to more than 4,600 sites, cementing its po­si­tion as the lead­ing In­ter­net provider.

Sa­fari­com’s con­sumer busi­ness di­rec­tor Sylvia Mulinge yes­ter­day said the firm has ex­pe­ri­enced a 77 per cent in­crease in mo­bile data us­age per cus­tomer, “with over­all smart­phone ownership more than dou­bling”.

“Our con­tin­ued ini­tia­tive to en­hance the net­work ex­pe­ri­ence will en­sure that we con­tinue to progress our vi­sion to democra­tise data for all Kenyans,” Mulinge said.

/ENOS TECHE

CAK di­rec­tor gen­eral Fran­cis Wan­gusi, board chair­man Ngene Gi­tuku and ICT Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary Joe Mucheru at the launch of the ra­dio spec­trum in Nairobi on March 3

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