Data communications carrier, Kenya Data Network (KDN), has set aside US5 million (KSh400 million) for an ambitious expansion programme that will see it set up base stations in Uganda and Tanzania.

The programme to be launched this month will also see the company set up more base stations in Kenya as well as lay optic fiber cables in Nairobi and other key Kenyan towns.

According to KDN managing director Kai Wulff, the setting up of base station in neighboring Uganda and Tanzania would provide communication solutions to businesses with subsidiaries outside their homebase.

He said the base stations would facilitate efficient flow of data and voice across the borders.

"Our aim is to provide a solution to multi-national corporations and banks that have in the past experienced a lot of difficulties with data transmission across the borders," said Wulff.

Kenya Data Networks is a full service data communications carrier licensed and has been operating in the Kenyan market since last year.

The company, which is part of the Sameer Group, was licensed by the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) as a Public Data Network Operator (PDNO). The company has also applied to CCK for an international gateway license that will allow it to offer Internet backbone services.

Having invested approximately USD10 million in sophisticated data communications infrastructure, the company has since July last year been operating commercial leased line, frame relay, and IP (Internet Protocol) data services.

Wulff said that KDN has entered into a partnership with Israeli company Alvarion Limited that will see it to deploy advanced wireless broadband networks in East Africa. To-date, he said, Kenya Data Network Limited has set up nine base stations in Nairobi and its environs as well as in key towns such as Kitale, Nyeri, Nakuru, Kisumu, Meru, Naivasha, Changamwe, Mariakani, and Mombasa.

Through the BreezeACCESS (TM) OFDM and WALKair (TM) solutions, KDN hopes to provide reliable last mile access services to Internet Service Providers (ISPs), banks, universities, multinational corporations and small-to-medium-sized businesses.

"High quality, affordable broadband services are critical for continued development of the communications industry in the region," said Wulff.

KDN hopes to use Alvarion's high-end wireless technology to leapfrog East Africa's communications infrastructure to meet world standards.

"Its modularity and unique NLOS (non-line-of-sight) capabilities will allow us to keep initial costs low while providing top-quality, and reliable services to our clients," said Wulff.

Alvarion, with its headquarter in Tel Aviv, Israel, is the world's largest pure play provider of wireless broadband networking infrastructure. The company has 25 percent share of the World's wireless equipment market.

It provides high-performance access, data and voice services in the last-mile through a cost-effective system that feeds into cellular networks.

East African Standard