Safaricom has set out plans to reach more unserved areas in an effort to make sure all Kenyans are connected to the company’s network.
This is following a partnership between Safaricom, Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) and other players. The partnership was launched yesterday during the second phase of the Universal Service Fund (USF) project.
Safaricom was among five firms that have been awarded a Sh1.57 billion deal to build base transceiver stations to boost network connectivity in 101 remote sub-locations across the country.
“Safaricom won the lion’s share of the active components of the tender with 21 slots valued at Sh295, 044, 253 million. Airtel Networks Limited won five slots valued at Sh14.424, 253,” Ngene Gituku, chairman of the Communications Authority(CA) board said. Telkom Kenya did not bid.
The deal comes following the huge success of phase one that saw Safaricom strengthen its network to cover many underserved and unserved parts of the country with its network.
“Safaricom is delighted to be one of the key partners mandated by Communication Authority of Kenya to deliver the objectives of the USF which is to narrow the gap of those unserved and under-served areas of Kenya, which will help us fulfill our purpose of transforming lives.” Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa Stated.
Ndegwa revealed that the partnership will allow Safaricom to roll out mobile connectivity in 101 sub-locations across the country as it seek to ensure that all parts of Kenya are connected.
People living in Turkana, Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, Garrissa, Isiolo, Samburu,Kajiado, Kilifi and Kitui are set to benefit from the partnership. Residents of Laikipia, West Pokot, Narok, Mandera, Tana River, Wajir, Lamu, and Marsabit counties will also be beneficiaries.
Ngene Gituku, chairman of the Communications Authority(CA) board, said the five firms including Safaricom PLC, Airtel Networks Kenya Ltd i, Seal Towers Ltd, ATC Kenya Operations Ltd and Alan Dick and Company (East Africa) will handle the project.
Safaricom has been reluctant to join the 5G band wagon and instead directed its attention to strengthen the 4G network it operates on to cover more parts of Kenya.
In a recent report from the CA, Safaricom was found to be the strongest network provider by meeting the 80% minimum requirement of network quality in voice services.
The report indicated that Airtel and Telkom fall below the minimum threshold thus risking to be penalized.
Telkom and Airtel have now been put under watch to ascertain whether they will improve their services.
“As Airtel’s and Telkom’s performance did not meet the set target of 80 percent for voice services they were issued notices of non–compliance that require the firms to improve their quality of services in the country in compliance with the set threshold,” CA said in the report.
The report reveals that Airtel subscribers in Kajiado, Kiambu and Narok had the most disrupted network and highest outages when making calls. The company scored the lowest- 20 percent, in the three counties, Kwale, Laikipia, Nyandarua, Murang’a, Kirinyaga and Nandi.