This network expansion will see Telkoms Network grow to four times its current 4G coverage footprint, reaching the majority of citizens across Kenya.
Telkom Kenya Limited, the Helios Investment partners and Government of Kenya joint venture, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Ericsson and NEC XON to add 2,000 wireless sites to its network by 2023.
The nationwide deployment is worth approximately $100m and is part of the expansion announced in August 2020. Telkom is currently upgrading and expanding its 4G capacity in the Coast region.
The network expansion with Ericsson and NEC XON will also see Telkom Kenya connect more than 200 learning institutions and over 30 medical facilities to the internet, boosting the use of remote learning and e-health solutions.
Commenting on the deal, Mugo Kibati, Chief Executive Officer of Telkom, said: Two of our commitments are to better position our infrastructure asset base and services to drive digital transformation within our various Customer segments thus providing them with more value, as well as bridge the digital divide through the expansion of our Mobile Data network. We are already working on the upgrade and expansion of our network at the Coast. The partnership we have signed today will see Telkom and our partners kick off a new network expansion project, guided by our long-term growth strategy.
He added: Data is a fundamental human right and for us at Telkom. It is now emerging as a daily necessity. The customer is also demanding more competitive and comprehensive products that address their different and ever-changing needs: browsing, downloading, streaming, mobile money transactions, reading the news online, and updating their apps; actions that are now very important to everyday life. The development of new products and solutions such as Madaraka Life, but more importantly, the provision of the network needed to access these services, is a priority for us at Telkom. 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. Our partnership with Ericsson and NEC XON is a testament to this.
Earlier this year, Kibati said that Telkom remains cognisant of the integral role the technology companys core terrestrial network plays in keeping customers connected.
Todd Ashton, Vice President and Managing Director of Ericsson South and East Africa, stated: “Telkom and Ericsson have a close, collaborative and visionary relationship spanning many years. Our latest collaboration will increase mobile coverage across the country, to provide a seamless data experience to Kenyans. In line with Kenyas Vision 2030, more people will have access to affordable Internet that will enable business continuity for people and enterprises contributing to the economic growth in Kenya and in setting #AfricaInMotion. This is just the beginning, with the LTE expansion setting the foundation to deploy 5G in the future.”
Willem Wentzel, General Manager of NEC XON, commented: We are assisting Telkom to roll out a leading, robust 4G network with a future-proof foundation to enable their strategic vision to compete as one of the major East African service providers. The rollout augments Telkoms existing network infrastructure by delivering world-class quality of experience (QoE) to more customers across a much wider coverage area.
Kibati concluded: One of the other positive outcomes of this network expansion project is the opportunity it presents to our existing teams; to up-skill and get trained on the latest technology and global best practice in the sector.