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
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.
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