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Safaricom launches advanced 4G network

04 December 2014, 20:54

Nairobi - Kenya's largest mobile phone firm Safaricom on Thursday officially launched its LTE Advanced (4G) network aimed at improving communication and data services in the East African nation.

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said the LTE Advanced network will offer peak speeds of up to 100Mbps, which is more than twice the speed offered on 3G technology.

"This makes it possible for customers to download and upload files faster, as well as enjoy buffer-free streaming of audio and video," Collymore told journalists in Nairobi.

The LTE Advanced is the most advanced version of the 4G system for mobile networks and promises to pass on significant improvements in data speeds and latency to its customers while maintaining superior voice quality.

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Safaricom, which has over 22 million subscribers, becomes the first operator in Sub Saharan Africa to launch LTE Advanced, enabling Kenya to maintain its leadership technology position in the region.

"Today's launch progresses our strategic push to democratize data. We believe in the transformative power of the internet and are keen to deliver the most advanced technologies to our subscribers in order to remain the network of choice," said Collymore.

The company will initially roll out the 4G service in Nairobi and Mombasa, before scaling up coverage in other major towns in the coming months.

LTE Advanced will also allow Safaricom customers to benefit from increased bandwidth accessible through the aggregation of different LTE spectrum bands.

"The direct impact of data on our economy has already been noted through the increasing number of businesses and services offered on-line. With 4G, we can deliver revolutionary services like tele-medicine, virtualization or real-time video that have immediate and transformational impact on our society," said Collymore.

The mobile firm last month received regulatory approvals to complete its 80 million dollar acquisition of various assets of rival Essar Telecom which operates under Yu brand.

The acquisition, the largest of its kind in the telecom's sector in Kenya, has received the approvals of the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) and the Capital Markets Authority of Kenya (CMA).

Under the deal, Safaricom and Airtel have agreed to absorb 175 of exiting Yu employees, with the leading mobile provider, taking 150 Yu employees and Airtel 25.

Safaricom has been holding talks to buy Yu's base stations to support its efforts to improve network quality.


- Xinhua


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