, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 25 – Telkom Kenya has commercially unveiled its 3G network as it seeks to curve out space in the fast growing data market.
With the potential to go up to 21 megabytes per second (Mbps), the operator is looking at offering fast Internet speeds making it possible for customers to derive maximum data value from the network.
Speaking during the launch, Telkom Kenya Chief Executive Officer Mickael Ghossein said investment in boosting its data services is crucial, as it is poised as the next sphere of competition for telecommunication operators as margins from voice revenue continue to thin out.
“In line with our strategy, I can confirm that indeed a new Internet era begins today, that will be characterised by Orange steadily taking the lead in offering innovative products and services, providing simplicity through our customer experience while maintaining our value proposition to the customer,” Mr Ghossein said.
The firm has invested €40 million (Sh5.3 billion) in developing its 3G infrastructure that is currently available in Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa.
The company acquired the 3G license, for $10 million in November last year, after the Communications Commission of Kenya CCK reduced the price from $25 million.
With 900 3G sites spread across the country, Telkom Kenya expects to increase the number to 1,500 within the year as demand for data services increases in the country.
Of the current 900 sites, 230 are scalable to Long Term Evolution Technology – commonly referred to as 4G, which offers subscribers access to mobile Internet at much faster speeds, making it a cutting edge tool for companies offering their services on the medium.
Mr Ghossein expects through 3G, Telkom aims to double its subscribers to about 4.6 million by the end of the year, as it continues with its quest to be the country’s second largest operator by 2015.
“Recent statistics by the CCK showed that the number of data users in Kenya rose from 3.2 million to 4.7 million in the last quarter, which translates to a 46.3 percent leap. With the launch of our unparalleled 3G network, we are confident that the number will spike further,” Mr Ghossein said.
The operator introduced a range of High Definition Voice devices that would be readily available in all its stores countrywide.
Orange has unveiled a range of high-speed internet devices for use across all consumer segments and announced a new data tariff structure that will see customers browse the net for as low as Sh0.40 per MB.
In line with its simplicity proposition, the CEO also confirmed that these rates would be applicable across all its internet platforms.
Another first for the market was the launch of a 3G shared broadband WiFi router – Business Broadband that enables 6-10 users to connect to the internet at the same time.
On Monday Safaricom, announced a Sh80 million upgrade to boost data speeds, further strengthening its 3G network with the launch of a new high-speed internet modem as it seeks to cement its place as the market leader.