Telkom Kenya has expanded its 3G and 4G networks in Nairobi, Nakuru, Eldoret, Mombasa and Kisumu. The network expansion will see an improvement in mobile connectivity to previously underserved towns and urban areas, that form part of Telkom’s expansion roadmap.
This exercise is part of Telkom’s network modernisation and infrastructure expansion programme that began in late 2016. Telkom has invested close to Ksh. 9 Billion to upgrade its network since 2016. The telco got a Ksh. 4.1 Billion loan from the European Investment Bank in 2018, to further expand the coverage and capacity of its network. It has seen the telco launch its 4G network to more than 30 towns and urban centres across Kenya. It has also optimised its 3G network, by way of doubling and improving existing outdoor and indoor coverage, as well as capacity.
Telkom CEO, Mr. Mugo Kibati, says: “It remains our objective to entrench our position as Kenya’s preferred Data network, which can only be achieved through the evolution of our network to match the intended service quality expectations of a future fit telco. Our customers and Kenyans should look forward to an even more superior experience once done with the upgrade.”
In addition to improving mobile connectivity, Telkom has also been making investments into its Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB) Network, to improve the quality of service offered to enterprise and corporate customers. The focus will include investments into access, core, transmission and IT components; infrastructure that is crucial to further improving network reliability and accessibility.
Telkom’s network modernisation and infrastructure expansion programme has also seen it partner with Loon LLC, a sister company to Google and a subsidiary of Alphabet, to launch an innovative 4G/LTE access network service in Kenya. This has been through the use of high altitude balloons acting as floating cell towers. These balloons will complement network coverage to un-served and under-served areas in the country. The pilot to this service is expected to launch later this year.
Telkom has also been making significant investments into its national backbone and metropolitan transmission networks, as part of its infrastructure upgrade and expansion. This upgrade seeks to deliver triple back-up features, enriched service experience and extended reach to its wholesale customers in the East African market. This will not only enhance customer data experience but also boost reseller capacity to other telcos and Internet service providers across East Africa who purchase from Telkom. Telkom has also reviewed the number of maintenance teams along these critical routes, ensuring they are fully equipped to attend to downtimes efficiently and to also continuously check on the health of the infrastructure as a proactive maintenance measure.
Already, Telkom has rehabilitated its metropolitan network around key carrier routes in Nairobi, with minimal disruptions and has already laid out a new metro-loop to connect Mombasa to its national backbone as well as a 1,000 km redundancy backbone between Mombasa and Tororo, Uganda. Moreover, Telkom has a resilient 400G fibre capacity on its entire backbone that runs from Mombasa through Malaba to Tororo.
Early this year, The Ministry of ICT, Telkom Kenya and its DARE 1 (Djibouti African Regional Express) partners concluded the first raft of commercial negotiations in Djibouti, ahead of the implementation of a 4,000km, 36TB Terabyte fibre cable interconnecting Kenya to Djibouti. The largest ever capacity in the country and East Africa region.