Telkom Eyes 4G Expansion to More Places in Kenya with 2000 New Sites

L-R Vice President and Managing Director of Ericsson South and East Africa, Mr. Todd ASHTON,Telkom’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mugo KIBATI,NEC XON’s General Manager – Wireless, Mr. Willem WENTZEL

Telkom Kenya is the second local operator to launch 4G services after Safaricom.

Afterward, Airtel Kenya came in, followed by Faiba, although the latter’s market share is substantially smaller.

Over the years, Telkom Kenya has attempted to boost the availability of 4G services.

While access is limited to major towns, Telkom did attempt to reach underserved marked through its Loon Program with Google.

Besides, even President Kenyatta hastened the rollout of Loon (license-wise), following the start of the pandemic in early 2020.

However, the Loon Project did not succeed, and Google, and by extension, Telkom Kenya, abandoned the project altogether.

The case has since been made worse following the failed merger with Airtel Kenya.

The plan was that the two operators would combine their forces and provide fair competition to Safaricom. But that development never saw the light of day.

Today, Telkom Kenya has signed an MoU with Ericsson, a networks and telecoms company, alongside NEC XON, a systems integrator to supplement Telkom’s 4G sites.

The plan is to add 2000 sites onto the operator’s network by 2023.

The sites will be distributed across the country, and will reportedly cost USD 100 million.

This follows a 2020 network expansion plan that still seeks to reorganize and address digital transformation in Kenya.

“Two of our commitments are to better position our infrastructure asset base and services to drive digital transformation within our various Customer segments thus providing them with more value, as well as bridge the digital divide through the expansion of our Mobile Data network. We are already working on the upgrade and expansion of our network at the Coast. The partnership we have signed today will see Telkom and our partners kick off a new network expansion project, guided by our long-term growth strategy,” says Telkom CEO Mugo Kibati.

The network expansion will also see Telkom connect more than 200 learning institutions and over 30 medical facilities to the internet, thereby boosting the use of remote learning and e-health solutions.