Airtel rolls out 4G Network


Airtel rolls out 4G Network
Airtel Kenya MD Prasanta Das Sarma (L) with Airtel Chairman Titus Naikuni (R)

Competition in the country’s data market is set to heighten as Airtel Kenya formally unveils 4G service.

Speaking during the launch, Airtel Kenya Managing Director Prasanta Das Sarma said the new service would enable the company tap into the growing data market by offering customers faster internet speeds.

“Two thirds of our eight million subscribers are using data and so 4g will enhance experience of that customer and this will help in capturing that market,” Mr Sarma said during the launch.

Airtel which is Kenya’s second largest telecom operator had paid Sh2.5 billion to acquire the license for the high speed 4G spectrum early this year.

With over eight point two million subscribers, Airtel is seeking to tap into the data market o grow its revenues.

Airtel will roll out the 4G network in Nairobi and Mombasa initially with plans to expand as demand for the service grows.

“We have some plans, but will be starting with top towns. We have a long-term plan and will continue to invest in our network and upgrade capacity,” he said.

Airtel now becomes the third operator in the country to roll out the 4G network, after Safaricom and Jamii Telecom unveiled the service last year.

A steep rise in use and ownership of smartphones in the country has seen mobile data become a major battlefront for telcos operating in the country.

Latest data from the Communications Authority shows that Safaricom still leads the rest of the pack with 29 million subscribers.

Airtel Kenya and Telkom have 8.2 million and 3.8 million subscribers respectively.

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Story By Dennis Otieno
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