Safaricom Launches 4G LTE-A In Kenya

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Safaricom on Thursday launched
4G LTE in Kenya for the
consumer. This comes after some
many months of testing in several
4G sites in Nairobi, but this
wasn’t available to the consumer.
This has been ongoing ever since
Bob Collymore came to
Safaricom. Today the mobile
communications company
announces the launch of 4G LTE-
A to customers in Nairobi and
Mombasa. This makes the first of
a phased roll-out that will see
other new roll-outs in 2015.
The places that already have 4G
in Kenya include Gigiri, Runda,
Buruburu, Lower Kabete,
Parkands in Nairobi and
Mombasa Island and Changamwe
in Mombasa. Safaricom has sights
set on March 2015 for complete
coverage of Nairobi and
Mombasa, by March 2016 there
will be coverage of 15 counties
and in 36 months the company
will have covered all counties.

Safaricom now launches 4G on
availability of the 800MHz
spectrum that Safaricom acquired
for 75 million USD and aligned to
the closing of the contract to
provide the Kenyan government
with security surveillance
contract. Safaricom also spent 82
million USD to acquire 450 sites
and other network infrastructure
from Essar.

Safaricom claims that even as
this is not the first launch of 4G
LTE in Africa, it’s the best. “This
is the best 4G in the whole
continent of Africa and at
100MBps is the fastest in Africa,”
said Bob Collymore, Safaricom
CEO. Bob added that 4G LTE will
not only make an impact to
consumers on their phones but
also in banking, education and
telemedicine which will become
more accessible to both
enterprises and their consumers.
Safaricom was the first mobile
network to launch 3G in Kenya in
2008, faster HSPA connections in
2012 and now is the first in the
African continent to launch 4G
LTE-A

Safaricom currently has over
100,000 LTE ready smartphones
and Safaricom has a plan to bring
the costs down for devices to as
low as Kshs 9,000. What users
need to have to use 4G on their
phones is a 4G ready smarphone
and a new SIM card that accepts
4G. The current SIM cards in use
are not compatible to 4G but the
new 4G SIM cards are backwards
compatible.

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