Kenyan telco Safaricom has confirmed that in November the number of active 4G users it recorded surpassed the 1 million mark, a first for the company. The telco said the milestone is the result of the expansion of its 4G network to cover all 47 counties, increased affordability of 4G smartphones and more affordable data bundles.
Joseph Ogutu, Director for Strategy at Safaricom has lauded the achievement by the company which comes three years after it became the first MNO to roll out a 4G network in Kenya.
“The country has consistently stood out as a global innovation powerhouse and a leader in global mobile technology adoption. This milestone further cements Kenya’s position and establishes a strong foundation for future innovation,”
Safaricom says upgrades to its network that began in 2016 have resulted an increase in the number of 4G sites to 1,400 to reach more than 33% percent of the country’s population.
16% of the company’s 4G sites are on 4G+ or LTE Carrier Aggregation Technology.
“More Kenyans can now afford 4G devices with the price having dropped to as low as Sh. 6,000. Data prices on Safaricom have also reduced by an aggregate of 29 percent, leading to increasing usage,” the company stated.
As Safaricom reflects on the positive outcomes of investment in LTE infrastructure, its former competitor in Kenya, the Orange Group, which exited the country two years ago, revealed last week that it managed to roll out 4G investment of its own in 13 of the 21 countries across Africa and the Middle East region.
Stéphane Richard, Chairman & CEO of Orange told those attending the telcos 2017 Investor day in London last week that more investment is in the pipe-line as part of its Essentiels2020 strategic plan.
“Through this plan, we aim to define ourselves by the excellence of our networks and by the innovative and enriched services that we provide our customers, offering them an unmatched customer experience. This strategy is now bearing fruit: we have seen a return to revenue growth a full year ahead of plan, and this momentum, combined with our operational efficiency programme, Explore 2020, has enabled us to renew growth of our adjusted EBITDA and engage us in a cycle of sustainable value creation,” said Richard.
“On the basis of these strengths, we intend to capitalise on the success of Essentials2020 in order to accelerate the growth and transformation of the Group as it evolves into a multi-service operator armed with sustainable growth in both our core business and in new activities across every country in which the Group is present,” he added.