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Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Safaricom will roll out 4G/LTE services on its network by June 2015.

It will be the first company to roll out the service after it managed to purchase some 800Mhz frequency to go the journey alone.

Government had insisted on a consortium approach such as that used on the TEAMS undersea cable but Safaricom has been raring to go it alone.

The concession to buy the frequencies at about US$75million came about after Safaricom offered to build a security network for the police without receiving payment upfront.

It will roll out a new core network on the 400Mhz band for the National Police Network for data capture and transmission to a command center at Vigilance House.

John Tombleson, CFO, Safaricom expects rolling out of LTE to take place immediately after the signing of the contract with government next week.

The company had already begun testing the LTE network around Nairobi and Mombasa.

Because it runs on a lower frequency able to cover more ground, the LTE rollout may be cheaper than the operator's 3G network which requires a lot more radios mounted up.

Safaricom will use the LTE for last-mile connectivity with the main aim being to capture such markets as online streaming and triple play services.

The company has been expanding its fiber optic network to handle the backhaul.

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