Telkom Kenya has secured a KES 4.1 billion loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB). Kenya’s third largest telecoms operator signed the loan agreement earlier today.
The funds will primarily be invested in 3G, and 4G coverage as consumers demand more from local carriers.
Additionally, part of the loan will be used to increase fiber-to-the-building (FTTB) coverage that targets to offer connectivity solutions for businesses. particularly, this investment will focus on access, core transmission and IT components that are instrumental in boosting network reliability and accessibility.
According to Ambroise Fayolle, EIB Vice President, the telecoms market in Kenya has grown tremendously and has some edge over its European counterparts.
“In terms of how mobile services are used, we could say that Kenya is ahead of Europe, and both the market and possibilities are growing fast. One attention point is the coverage, which is why we are happy to support Telkom’s growth strategy in expanding its 3G and 4G networks across the country. This loan will also benefit its fixed broadband network; a service which is widely seen as a basic need for businesses to be competitive in a global market,” noted Mr Ambroise.
Telkom’s newly appointed CEO Mugo Kibati highlighted the operator’s focus in investing in data services in response to customer needs. Evidently, the carrier has engaged in several practices that are pushing data products to the youth in a market that makes significant revenues from internet-based products.
“Telkom’s focus is to be Kenya’s preferred Data network, which will be done by evolving into a stronger and future-fit Telco. The strategic support from the EIB will give impetus to Telkom’s data network expansion, that has seen Telkom consistently enhance indoor coverage, expand our 4G network, optimize our 3G network, thereby boosting our capacity to handle mobile data traffic, in response to growing customer demand,” said Mr Mugo.
A week ago, Telkom’s partnership with Google’s Loon arm was approved by the Communications Authority. This means that internet-beaming balloons will see pilot tests in availing 4G signals in remote parts of the country in the coming year.