4G reality as 200 base stations set to launch

April 13, 2015
ICT Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang'i. Photo/FILE
ICT Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i. Photo/FILE

, ICT Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has revealed 200 4G base stations will be launched this week in preparation for plans to make the country with the fastest internet speeds in the region.

The base stations will likely be owned by Safaricom which paid Sh6.7B to buy spectrum as part of a security surveillance system deal with the government. Safaricom has already launched the 4G services in Nairobi and Mombasa as it seeks to consolidate its dominant and growing mobile data market share.

“By 2017, the internet penetration in Kenya should be at 60 percent. That is the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Matiang’i.

Matiang’i credited the ICT Ministry with bringing regional calling rates down by 65 percent and the implementation of the one network area. He added the Ministry is working with hoteliers to provide free wi-fi to all four and five-star hotels in Kenya.

“We are working on data and mobile money transfer across the region and we will soon announce our proposals to the central banks and the ministries of finance on how we want to operationalize mobile money across the region,” said Matiang’i.

The CS said the opportunity to access a population of over 108 million people in the region should be incentive enough for ICT companies to create innovative and regional products.

Matiang’i, who is also the acting Lands CS, said the government will issue 1 million title deeds by the end of this financial year.

“We want to do another 2 million title deeds by 2017 because this is the promise we made to the people of Kenya, in fact our hope is that we can do an additional 1 million above our target” said the CS.

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