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[This Week in Tech] Telkom Kenya signs a $100M deal to scale its 4G network and other top stories


Kenya’s 4G subscriptions market share will more than double from 24.2% in 2021 to 53.6% by 2025. Local telcos have been playing a key role in ensuring these numbers are achieved with Safaricom and Telkom Kenya taking the lead. 

After announcing plans to scale 80% of its network to 4G back in July, Telkom Kenya together with its partners, Ericsson, and NEC XON, this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding to add an additional 2,000 4G sites onto Telkom’s network, by 2023The nationwide rollout of the new Telkom Kenya 4G sites, is part of the company’s long-term network expansion strategy, announced in August last year. This modernisation investment is approximately US$ 100M. Earlier in the week, The High Court also stopped the planned prosecution of senior Telkom Kenya officials over the sale of a disputed piece of land on Ngong Road

We also covered so much news on African startups this week. Four startups from Ghana joined The Catalyst Fund Inclusive Digital Commerce Accelerator, a programme that supports innovators building digital commerce solutions. Workpay, a Nairobi-based YC graduate expanded its operations to Nigeria. Electric vehicle startup BasiGo announced the launch of its operations in Nairobi while Kenya-based electric mobility startup Opibus raised US$7.5 million in equity and grant funding, the largest ever in an electric mobility company in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Payhippo, a lending startup that is widening credit access for small businesses in Nigeria, also raised $3 million in seed funding.

Zuhura Innovation Africa, a women-led and youth-focused organization launched the 3rd edition of the Africa Basque Challenge (ABC) targeting young people from around the world. Kenyan fintech startup Kwara also partnered with insurtech company, Lami Technologies, to provide Savings and Credit Co-operative Society (SACCO) members in Kenya with insurance products. Shamiri Institute, another Kenyan mental health startup raised $1 million in funding from the Templeton World Charity Foundation to tackle the scourge of mental health in Kenya and the rest of the African continent.

LG Electronics was also in the news this week. The company partnered with vendors and local entrepreneurs to roll out stores in strategic locations that are equipped with state-of-the-art washing machines. It also announced third-quarter 2021 consolidated revenues of USD 16.23 billion (Ksh 1.752 trillion), the highest ever in its history.

At its Ignite 2021 conference this week, Microsoft revealed new features and updates for the Teams collaboration app, including security, integrations and events capabilities. 

Airtel Africa and UNICEF announced a $57 million five-year pan-African partnership to help accelerate the roll-out of digital learning for children across Africa.  Pan-African music streaming service, Mdundo, announced that the platform recorded 16.4 Million unique users for the quarter ending September 2021. Irvine Partners, a multi-national public relations and integrated marketing agency was awarded the Spotify communications account in Sub-Saharan Africa.  ASUS officially unveiled the Vivobook 13 Slate, its latest 13.3″ OLED Windows detachable laptop with an OLED touchscreen display.

Other top stories we covered include Jumia Kenya officially launching the 9th edition of its “Jumia Black Friday” campaign. We also highlighted some of the top Xiaomi deals you can grab on Jumia during this Black Friday. 

Whitesky.cloud and afriQloud this week also designed a completely new architecture for affordable and local cloud services.

Lastly, we don’t have a new podcast up this week but you can to our last episode as me Nixon Kanali, Emmanuel Chenze, Dickson Otieno discuss what IoT is, how we are using it now, and how we’ll use it in the future. In this episode, we also highlight some of the IoT projects that Kenya’s leading telco Safaricom is implementing in the country. The episode is available here. 

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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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