Kenya’s giant telco Safaricom is planning to stay ahead of the competition by providing faster internet services for its customers.
To cement its leadership position, the company which is facing competition from its merged rivals Airtel and Telkom has prioritised internet speeds to capture the growing market across Kenya.
Safaricom has installed a 400G network link making its network among the first in the world to commercially deploy the solution.
With this, the new 400G link will enable Safaricom to support increasing video consumption alongside demand for higher video quality from both its home and mobile customers.
Better support for smart homes
Safaricom can also better support the emergence of smart homes which sees appliances connected to the internet to provide users with the ability to continually monitor and control them both at home and remotely.
“The 400G solution will support the continued growth of our network which is being driven by an explosion in internet usage. Mobile data usage on our network has been doubling year-on-year while our fibre network now reaches more than 220,000 homes and 17,000 businesses across more than ten towns,” said Thibaud Rerolle, Chief Technology Officer – Safaricom.
Increased demand for faster internet
He said on Wednesday that due to the increased demand for faster internet, it was prudent to invest in the latest network technology “to ensure that we can support the demand from our customers for years to come.”
The link will achieve a speed of up to 400 Gigabits per second, an upgrade from the previous connection which offered speeds of 100 Gbps.
Safaricom and Huawei announced the deployment of the solution at the ongoing Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain.
4G coverage to 53 per cent of Kenyans
In the two years to September 2018, Safaricom experienced a four-fold growth in average data usage per customer which went from 160 Megabytes per customer per month to 640 Megabytes per customer per month.
Safaricom also saw its 4G coverage grow to more than 2,600 sites providing coverage to more than 53 per cent of the country’s population while its 3G coverage now offers high-speed broadband to more than 91 per cent of the population.
To accommodate its growing network coverage, Safaricom has also laid more than 5,500 kilometres of fibre linking its masts in more than 16 major towns.
The 400G standard was approved in December 2017 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, paving the way for network equipment suppliers and operators to begin deploying equipment that officially conforms to the standard.
Airtel Kenya 3G and 4G sites across Kenya
And the giant telco’s competitor Airtel Kenya is rolling out of over 800 3G and 4G sites across the country.
The sites roll out and upgrade will significantly increase network capacity, improve quality of service and enhance mobile data speeds, allowing Airtel customers to enjoy better internet and voice services.
The sites roll out across the country will target over 40 towns including Kisumu, Nyeri, Meru, Nakuru, Bungoma, Lamu and Garissa among others.
Airtel Kenya CEO Prasanta Das Sarma said, “The expansion of our network coverage will ensure that the majority of the urban population are well covered.”
The network launched its 4G network in May 2018 in efforts to have its customers enjoy faster browsing speeds, improved network coverage and ability to enjoy more media on devices.
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