Tomorrow, Kenyans from all walks of life will take a walk to respective polling stations and exercise their democratic duty in choosing a President who will be in charge of the country for the next half a decade. Ideally, the polls are nothing new, and this is the second time the exercise is done after the Supreme Court of Kenya nullified the presidential elections a little over a month ago.
Most of us are aware the polls will rely heavily on telecommunication channels, and it has been ascertained all the 45,000 result transmission kits will be equipped with Safaricom SIM card. The motivation behind this decision is obvious, and to summarize, the mentioned mobile operator has proved that its coverage and infrastructure is robust, which is why it will be needed to complement the transmission process for cast votes. It has also been determined that Safaricom’s offerings will get rid of past discrepancies where test results from polling stations arrived at the national tallying center before scanned copies of Forms 34A (for polling stations) and 34B (for constituencies).
This does not mean that other carriers will not have a hand in the transmission of results. Rather, preference has been accorded to Safaricom where its network is excellent. The same thing has been done for Airtel Kenya and Telkom Kenya, which has been expanding its 4G coverage. It should also be noted that Airtel Kenya is yet to roll out 4G, but that does not mean it will be left out as IEBC’s requirements are okay with 3G.
Notably, areas where Telkom and Airtel are key providers will adopt Safaricom as a backup system. This is how the counties will be served by the telcomm operators:
|Safaricom||Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Isiolo, Kitui, Makueni, Kajiado, Machakos, Embu, Tharaka-Nithi, Meru, Samburu, Marsabit, Turkana, West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet Baringo, Kericho, Bomet, Narok, Uasin Gishu and Trans Nzoia|
|Airtel Kenya||Lamu, Tana River, Kilifi, Mombasa, Kwale, Taita Taveta, Nyeri, Murang'a, Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Nyamira, Kisii and Homa Bay|
|Telkom Kenya||Busia, Siaya, Kisumu, Vihiga, Nandi, Kakamega, Bungoma, Nakuru, Nyandarua, Laikipia and Nairobi|
Apparently, Safaricom will cover most parts of North Eastern province, Eastern and the North Rift regions that cover 22 counties. Airtel Kenya will feature prominently in Coast, Central Kenya and some parts of Nyanza. Telkom Kenya will man Nairobi and other 10 counties in central Rift Valley. Lastly, and similar to the last polls, a live feed will be provided for viewers across different platforms