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Safaricom readies for 4G technology

NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 1 – Safaricom is looking to use the analogue frequencies left idle with the shift to digital television transmission in 2015 to operate its 4G technology.

Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Michael Joseph says there are a number of spectrum options for them to operate on, but feels the analogue frequencies give the operator more leeway to roll out commercially.

Safaricom is set to begin technical trials for its 4G this October as it weighs an ideal spectrum to operate on.

“With 4G there are a number of spectrums you can operate from. The one we see as most viable for us will be that of analogue TV broadcast that is to be shut down,” Mr Joseph said.

Safaricom announced back in March that it was interested in rolling out the technology but has not yet received spectrum on which to roll out the service commercially.

4G services allow users to browse up to 10 times faster than 3G, and can accommodate downloads of streaming video, allowing faster file downloads and super-fast Web browsing.

Safaricom is the only operator currently operating the 3G technology in Kenya with Zain Kenya set to roll out by the end of the year.

Telkom Kenya has however said that Kenya is not ready for 4G technology as the country lacked the relevant spectrum and equipment.

Mr Joseph however said that it was a matter of making the right investments adding: “We are not there yet because there are no devices but I don’t see why anybody should say we are not ready because Kenya is always ready like we proved with 3G.”

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