Kenya’s 3G/4G Network Coverage Now at 96%

There are over 103,000 3G/4G Base Station Transceivers in the country.

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5G has been the talk of the town in the recent months since Safaricom began its trials across the country. But its predecessors are still the main networks in Kenya.

3G and 4G networks have been making inroads across the country and we now know their total coverage across the country stands at 96.3%.

This is according to the Communication Authority of Kenya and this figure was shared by Mrs. Patricia Muchiri, the regulatory body’s acting Director/ Consumer and Public Affairs. She shared this figure during a media workshop earlier today.

Mrs. Patricia Muchiri, acting Director and Consumer and Public Affairs, Communication Authority Kenya
Mrs. Patricia Muchiri, Acting Director/Consumer and Public Affairs, Communication Authority Kenya

This was in response to how the authority is ready in terms of how prepared they are for the incoming elections that will have election centres across the country use these networks to transmit voting results to the main tallying centre in Nairobi.

Communication Authority also shared that the number of transceivers has increased from 42,000 in 2017 to 103,000 this year.

Here are figures worth noting:

2G(Voice) and 3G/4G(Broadband) combined coverage:

  • 2G Coverage: 96.6% of the population and 56.5% of Geo-Area
  • 3G/4G Coverage: 96.3% of the population and 56.3% of Geo-Area

Progress made by Universal Service Fund(USF) as depicted by the access gap studies done by the Communication Authority of Kenya

  • 2G coverage grew from 94.4% of the population in 2016 to 96.6% in 2021
  • 3G/4G coverage grew from 78% of the population in 2016 to 96.3% in 2021
  • Landmass coverage grew from 17% of the population in 2016 to 56.5% in 2021

How Kenyan Telcos Are Doing

Last year, Safaricom reported that 3G and 2G population coverage now stand at 96% and 97% respectively with the aim of reaching 100% coverage with 4G.

4G-capable phones accessing the Safaricom network grew 37.3 per cent to 9.7 million.

4G phones that use more than 1 GB of data grew 22.2 per cent YoY to 4.7 million, which represents 48 per cent of all 4G devices.

Safaricom has also worked with the Communications Authority of Kenya to allocate more 3G spectrum to manage the stress of the network caused by the spike in demand for data during last year’s lockdown.

Last year also saw Equitel, Equity Group’s mobile virtual network operator launch 4G services.

Telkom Kenya is expanding its 4G LTE network which will set the foundation for the telco to deploy 5G in the country in the near future.

Airtel partnered with Swedish network provider Ericsson to modernize its 4G network in Kenya.

State of 5G in Kenya: What to Expect This Year