Telkom Kenya to Invest Sh3bn in Network Upgrade

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Telkom Kenya is investing Sh3 billion in a stronger network with higher internet speed as the battle in telecommunications shifts to data.

The Communications Commission of Kenya on Wednesday gave the operator a licence for 3G, or third-generation network, which paves the way for Telkom to launch more advanced data services.

"Customers will enjoy faster internet speeds," Telkom Kenya CEO Mickael Ghossein said. "We will provide value-added services such as mobile TV, video on demand and video conferencing."

In September the firm concluded a one-year 3G network trial for 15 sites within Nairobi. CCK director-general Charles Njoroge said by June 2010, Kenya had 7.8 million internet users.

"The mobile broadband has the best chance of becoming Kenya's main internet access medium in the future," Mr Njoroge said, adding that out of the 7.8 million users, mobile data through 2G and 3G accounted for 99 per cent of total subscriptions.

Njoroge said CCK will publish a report on quality of network and services next week. It will give a picture of whether operators are following guidelines on service quality. In June, the regulator cut the price of a 3G permit by 60 per cent to Sh800 million ($10 million) to boost competition.

Safaricom is the only operator offering commercial 3G services and is carrying out trials for 4G.