Telkom Kenya Limited, the Helios Investment Partners and Government of Kenya joint venture, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Ericsson, the telecommunications company, and NEC XON, the systems integrator, to add 2,000 wireless sites onto Telkom Kenya Limited’s network by 2023.
The approximately US$100 million nationwide rollout is part of Telkom Kenya Limited’s long-term network expansion strategy announced in August last year when it began its strategic digital transformation reorganisation, as well as lay the groundwork towards the company’s long-term goal to become the technology partner of choice in Kenya and the region.
Telkom Kenya Limited has been reviewing its long-term strategy as it moves into its next phase of transformation in line with its focus areas, driven by the ICT industry’s local and global transitions, and in particular, a heightened demand for infrastructure, data, as well as digital financial services. The company identified its fibre infrastructure, mobile network, as well as its mobile financial services as areas for further investment and growth this year and beyond. Gradually, these investments will contribute significantly to enhancing service provision and customer experience. To this end, Telkom is currently upgrading and expanding its 4G capacity in the Coast region.
“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,” says Mugo Kibati, CEO of Telkom Kenya Limited. “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 adds, “The use of Mobile Internet Data continues to grow, with the customer demanding for 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.”
Earlier this year Kibati said that Telkom remains cognisant of the integral role the technology company’s core terrestrial network plays in keeping customers connected.
“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 says. “Our partnership with Ericsson and NEC XON is testament to this.”
Todd Ashton, VP and MD of Ericsson South and East Africa, says, “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 Kenya’s 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, GM of Wireless at NEC XON, says, “We are assisting Telkom Kenya Limited 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 Telkom’s existing network infrastructure by delivering world-class quality of experience (QoE) to more customers across a much wider coverage area.”
This network expansion will also see Telkom connect more than 200 learning institutions as well as over 30 medical facilities to the Internet, thereby boosting the use of remote learning and e-health solutions.
Kibati says, “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.”
L-R Vice President and Managing Director of Ericsson South and East Africa Todd Ashton Telkom’s Chief Executive Officer, Mugo Kibati NEC XON General Manager Wireless, Willem Wentzel