Airtel Kenya Buys Extra 60 MHz Spectrum to Boost 4G, Parts with $40 Million

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Airtel India

Airtel Kenya has announced the purchase of 60 MHz of additional spectrum in the 2600 MHz band from the Communications Authority of Kenya.

The transaction cost Kenya’s second largest operator USD 40 million.

The license from this development will be valid from this month (July, 2022) for a period of 15 years.


Now, the added capacity will strengthen the carrier’s 4G coverage for fixed wireless home broadband and mobile.

It will also put Airtel in a better position should it choose to roll out 5G services in the future.

All Kenyan carriers are behind of Safaricom in terms of network coverage, customer numbers, and revenue.

Safaricom has since launched 5G services, albeit in a pilot phase.

The leading telco could fully launch the service before the year ends or sometime in 2023.

Airtel has not revealed its 4G coverage in the country. The likes of the said Safaricom usually give out this information during their investor briefings. For instance, its 4G coverage is at 97 percent, and will likely hit the 100 percent mark soon.

Airtel is very popular for Kenya’s budget hunters. It has some of the most affordable mobile data products alongside Telkom Kenya.

New leaders

At the start of this month, Airtel Kenya announced that its CEO Mr. Prasanta Das Sarma had left the company. His roles were handed over to Mr. Ashish Malhotra.

Mr. Prasanta Das Sarma, whose tenure at Airtel Kenya had started in 2017, has since joined Airtel Africa as co-CEO for Fibre Services.

The telco also appointed a new Chairman of the Board, Mr. Louis Onyango Otieno.

Interoperability

Airtel customers can also access Safaricom’s paybill and till numbers.


The CBK is attempting to balance the mobile money market in a space that is led by Safaricom at more than 99 percent market share.

Before 2024, mobile agency interoperability will be put into effect. Both Telkom and Airtel customers will then access Safaricom’s agency networks of more than 260K shops.


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Kenn Abuya is a friend of technology, with bias in enterprise and mobile tech. Share your thoughts, tips and hate mail at [email protected]