Kenya to launch US$500 million 4G network


Telecoms Tower2Kenya plans to roll out a US$500mn 4G network, despite key players continuing to question the timing and viability of the project

In late November 2012, the government launched a search for a financial consultant to help formulate a public-private partnership to roll out high-speed connectivity on the 4G platform.

The consultant will undertake a detailed financial evaluation of the partnership between the government, institutional investors, mobile operators and equipment vendors. Mobile operators, however, have questioned the viability of the 4G network, arguing that even the performance of the 3G has been poor.

Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom, observed, “We launched the 3G a while back and the uptake has been poor. What makes us think subscribers are going for 4G? We should concentrate on driving the uptake of the 3G.”

Other service providers such as Airtel Kenya and Telkom Orange have also raised similar concerns, highlighting the low uptake of the already rolled out 3G.

Information and Communications Permanent Secretary, Dr Bitange Ndemo, has affirmed that the government is determined to have the network working by March 2013 during the national elections.