Airtel Kenya plans 4G launch by year-end
Airtel Kenya, the local unit of Indian telecoms group Bharti Airtel, is aiming to launch 4G LTE services by the end of the year, to enable it to better compete in the high speed mobile data market, reports Capital FM. ‘Data is very essential in our industry and we are investing heavily to ensure that our capabilities in data and internet are substantially improved,’ the cellco’s CEO Adil El Youssefi was quoted as saying, adding: ‘We are working closely with the stakeholders, regulators and the government to ensure that we [launch] the 4G network as soon as possible, hopefully this year, to Kenya.’ Youssefi also revealed that the coverage of Airtel’s 3G network, which was launched in February 2012, has been increased to 75% of the population.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Airtel Kenya is the country’s second largest mobile network operator, with around 7.4 million subscribers at the end of 2015, behind market leader Safaricom with 25.8 million, but ahead of third-placed Telkom Kenya (Orange) with around 4.9 million. Safaricom is currently the market’s sole provider of LTE services, which were launched in Nairobi and Mombasa in December 2014.