Telkom Kenya to Launch Project Loon by June as it Commits KES 1 Billion to 3/4G Expansion

Loon takes off from autolauncher


Telkom Kenya has announced a KES 1 billion expansion plan that will see further improvements on 3G and 4G coverage. The budget is also targeting to optimize its Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB) product that is set to improve the quality of service (reliability and accessibility) offered to enterprise and corporate customers.

The expansion of 4G services will be augmented by the long-awaited Loon Project, a partnership between the operator and Google’s subsidiary, Loon. Loon has been testing its high-flying internet-beaming balloons for the better part of 2018. The tests are set to be commercialized by mid-2019, which Telkom hopes to diligently meet.

It is worth noting that the balloons will focus on unserved and underserved areas, particularly in the Mt. Kenya regions such as Nyeri and Nanyuki, as well as Thika and Rift Valley’s Nakuru.

“It remains our objective to entrench our position as Kenya’s preferred Data network, which can only be achieved through the evolution of our network to become a stronger and future fit Telco. The strategic support from our shareholders and other partners is giving impetus to our data network expansion strategy,” says Telkom CEO, Mr Mugo Kibati.

The carrier, which is reportedly negotiating a merger with Airtel Kenya to form a single entity to tackle Safaricom’s upper hand, has been doing well after garnering more than 4 million customers and 9 percent of the country’s market share. Its services have been popularized by young people who actively seek offers and deals, especially for data services.

“The rapid diffusion of mobile technology and the advent of entry-level smart devices in Kenya, has witnessed the increased demand for broadband. Access to and use of broadband, enhances productivity and efficiency, thereby bolstering socio-economic growth,” adds Mr Kibati.

Just the other day, Telkom in partnership with the Communications Authority of Kenya launched 3 base stations in Kilifi under the under the Universal Service Fund (USF) program. The Authority also launched 3 more stations with Safaricom, totalling six facilities that should ease access to carrier services in the coastal region to more than 300,000 residents.