JTL upgrades fibre network, eyes county tenders


Jamii Telecoms Ltd JTL is upgrading its entire fibre optic network at a cost of Sh261 million in a move aimed at making the infrastructure more secure and positioning itself for government’s Internet tenders to connect the Counties ahead of its rivals.

The upgrade will see the JTL fibre network moved to a superior technology (Internet Protocol /Multiprotocol Label Switching MPLS) which is more secure than the one it is currently using ( Ethernet network ), giving it a competitive edge over its rivals such Kenya Data Networks (KDN) and Telkom Kenya.
JTL is also offering services to banks who demand high security on their data.

The demand of high security networks by banks stems from the fear that the country is now more exposed to cyber crime activities such as hacking than before after it got connected to the three undersea fibre optic cables, TEAMs, Seacom and Eassy, which not only exposes the banks to risk but also their clients.

The cost of the project will be met through vendor financing where ECI Telecoms, an Israel firm will supply JTL with equipment on credit to be repaid in instalments.

Joshua Chepkwony, the chairman Jamii telecoms, said the upgrade exercise which begins next week is supposed to be complete by end March and will cover Nairobi, Mombasa, Naivasha, Nakuru, Eldoret, Kisumu, Kitale, Bugoma, Busia, Kakamega, Thika, Kisii and Kericho.

“The upgrade will give us a head start over our rivals, especially in the counties where banks and government will require secure internet connections due to the sensitivity of the information they handle,” said Chepkwony.

He said that other than the banking institutions it is targeting, the firm has also set eyes on the government tenders –to connect learning institutions, health facilities and the administrative offices in the devolved government.