Safaricom announces plans to double 4G sites following growth

By Maureen Maingi

Safaricom, the largest telecommunications provider in Kenya, announced that they intend to double their 4G network coverage. This will increase their base stations to 5000, reaching over 80% of the population.

This announcement came with the close of the financial year at the end of March. CEO Bob Collymore shared that their net income saw an increase by 14.7% to KES63.4bn (US$62.7mn) with revenue hitting KES240.3bn (US$237.8mn)

“We are pleased with the strong results we have delivered for the year, building on our long track record of delivering relevant products and putting the customer first. We foresee continued growth in the future,” said Collymore.

This expansion is expected to cost KES36bn (US$356mn) providing an additional 2,030 4G and 4G+ base station to cover the majority of the population.

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Collymore continued: “For a majority of Kenyans, the mobile phone is often the first and only link to the Internet. By broadening our 4G coverage to almost anyone in the country, we aim to ensure that no one has to miss an opportunity or get left out because of lack of access to affordable, quality, high-speed broadband.”

In 2014, Safaricom was the first company to provide a 4G network in Kenya, and as of June 2017, the first company in East Africa to provide upgrades to 4G+. Customers currently receive up to 100 Megabits per second with 4G, and double this with 4G+.

“Looking ahead, the business will sustain its momentum of investing in the quality of our service and diversification of our revenue portfolio to ensure sustained returns to shareholders,” concluded Collymore.

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