Safaricom has been testing 4G LTE in Kenya for quite some time now. Many countries in the developed world have already rolled out 4G LTE and upped the speeds of mobile users resulting to much more that users can do on their mobile devices. These range from streaming full HD video content on tablets while on taxi rides to virtual offices in remote areas and use in other fields like medicine and e-tourism.
Safaricom’s tests have been in Nairobi’s Gigiri area and there has been talks of rolling out 4G LTE to atleast the large cities and towns in Kenya as data demands get higher every other day. Safaricom has been awaiting the availability of frequencies made available after the Kenya Digital Migration which should happen before the June 2015 global deadline.
But Safaricom won’t roll out immediately this happens.
Safaricom announced at the Half Year results ’15 that they will be rolling out commercial 4G LTE in the next 15 months, meaning we will have another year of limits to 3G and 2G available to us. Safaricom also announced that they are a fortnight away from finalizing sealing the Security Infrastructure deal with the government that will also ride on 4G infrastructure across the country. Safaricom via the CEO Bob Collymore mentioned that the telco will roll out this in several towns and cities in Kenya.
Meanwhile, Ghana has already gone live with 4G LTE as of late August with Surfline in capital Accra and port of Tema with a target to go countrywide in the next 2 years. This is an investment of over $100 million by sole owner John Taylor. Kenya, Ghana, South Africa and Nigeria are all fighting for the Africa ICT hub crown and data is one of the frontiers that determine who gets what advantage. We have seen tremendous innovation and economy growth as a result of infrastructure development especially data in Kenya and any improvements will mean even greater leverage for investors and innovators.
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