Safaricom has donated Mini GSM network’ laboratory equipment for the JKUAT Engineering and Telecommunications Laboratory with the latest telecommunication technology aimed at ensuring the students are well prepared with practical skills for application in the industry.
The donation entails a full GSM equipment suite consisting of among others a Base Station, BSC Microwave Link and Switches which will be used to establish a functional GSM network and transmission system to be used during practical lessons by students taking courses in mobile communication, data communication and transmission courses.
The Mini GSM network valued at KShs. 800 million will enable students to initiate and terminate a phone call, enable data transfer and basically conduct any services that Safaricom is capable of making for academic purposes thus preparing them adequately for a career in telecommunications engineering.
This is the first of its kind in East and Central Africa effectively making JKUAT the Destination University for aspiring Telco professionals.
“The Laboratory will transform the way Telecoms practical training is offered at the University and impact not only on the students’ knowledge and capabilities building but also the university and the Industry as whole. The telecoms industry needs graduates who have developed the right skills before joining a workplace and this initiative will equip them with the necessary skills and competencies needed,” said Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore.
JKUAT’s Vice Chancellor Prof. Mabel Imbuga hailed the partnership with Safaricom as a standard for corporate/academia partnerships. The vice chancellor noted that the initiative had been instrumental in the development of telecommunication training and research which JKUAT has been spearheading since 2003, when the university introduced the undergraduate programme in telecommunications and information engineering.
“This laboratory will provide the much needed practical and research orientation to students and faculty and thus increase their competitiveness. This will make JKUAT the University of choice for aspiring telecoms professionals in East and Central Africa,” said Professor Imbuga.
Safaricom and JKUAT have been in partnership for five years after they signed a memorandum of understanding in December 2008 with the aim of enhancing development through research, training, innovation and technological development in the areas of communication technology and information.
Through this partnership, the Telco sponsored the development of curricular for the Bachelor of Science in Telecommunication and Information Engineering course. The first batch of students to benefit from it joined the University in May 2009. Currently, there are over 200 undergraduate students.