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Telkom Kenya to scale up to 80% of its network to 4G


Telkom Kenya has announced plans to increase its 4G network capacity in Kenya in the next few months.

Speaking during the launch of a new Madaraka Life product last week, Telkom Kenya CEO Mugo Kibati said the expansion of the 4G network was to enable them to adequately serve subscribers across the country with high-speed internet. 

“We continue with our long-term terrestrial network expansion plan that is informed by our overall company strategy, which will see us scale up to 80% of our network to 4G, increase our network footprint across the country, and get more Kenyans online,” he said.

Telkom Kenya has over the last few years been rapidly expanding its 3G and 4G network. In 2020, it announced that it has invested close to KSh 9 Billion since the start of its network modernization and infrastructure expansion program in late 2016 to expand these networks. 

It further announced that it has expanded its 3G and 4G networks into Nairobi, Nakuru, Eldoret, Mombasa, and Kisumu.  This continued network roll-out and densification saw an improvement of mobile connectivity to previously underserved towns and urban areas, that form part of Telkom’s expansion roadmap.

In the same year, it also announced that it has launched its 4G network, progressively, to more than 30 towns and urban centers across Kenya. Moreover, it also optimized its 3G network, by way of doubling and improving existing outdoor and indoor coverage, as well as capacity.

“Despite the capital-intensive nature of our network expansion plan, we commit to becoming the technology partner of choice, building out our network to ensure wider coverage and the provision of high-quality services to our customers.”  Mugo Kibati added. 

This comes at a time when Kenya is experiencing a shift focus in mobile connectivity generations. In March last year, the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) issued one-year 5G trial licenses to five mobile operators.  Despite much of the current hype in the telco space focusing around 5G, 4G is still providing lifesaving connectivity, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic right now, when communities need it most.

Currently, the following towns covered by the Telkom Kenya 4G: Bungoma, Busia, Diani, Eldoret, Embu, Kakamega, Karatina, Kericho, Kiambu, Kilifi, Kisii, Kisumu, Kitale, Kitengela, Kitui, Limuru, Machakos, Malindi, Maseno, Meru, Mombasa, Muranga, Nairobi, Naivasha, Nakuru, Nanyuki, Narok, Ngong, Nyeri, Ongata Rongai, Thika and Voi.

Telkom Kenya 4G products

Telkom Kenya T-Smart
Telkom Kenya Kaduda T-Smart feature phone

Telkom has also recently been launching a number of 4G products including affordable 4G devices. 

Affordable devices have been described as big drivers of 4G migration in Africa. 

Last year, Telkom resurrected its Kaduda smart feature phone series with Kaduda 4G phones. The company unveiled the Kaduda T-Smart for KES 3,100. The feature phone runs on KaiOS, Google’s smart operating system for feature devices.

KaiOS on the T-Smart will ensure users can surf the internet via Wi-Fi and 3G/4G/LTE. Users will also have access to handy smartphone apps like YouTube, WhatsApp, and Facebook.

According to GSMA more than half of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa will be connected to mobile service by 2025.  This means there will be 634 million unique mobile subscribers across the region which is equivalent to 52 per cent of the population, up from 44 million (44%) at the end of last year.  

GSMA notes that one of the biggest contributors to this growth is lower device costs, which is serving to accelerate the migration to 3G/4G mobile broadband networks and services. Telkom Kenya says it’s contributing to this growth and that’s where devices like the Kaduda T-Smart come in. 

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I write about tech, business and African startups. Founder and Editor For TechTrendsKE. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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