Kenya’s telecommunication giant, Safaricom, has launched a super-fast internet service known as the fourth generation (4G) internet service, which is Kenya’s first and only 4G network.
Subscribers will now enjoy speeds of up to two times of what they are currently experiencing with the 3G network as the 4G LTE (long term evolution)will offer peak speeds of up to 100Mbps.
“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 Safaricom CEO, Bob Collymore while launching the product yesterday.
The 4G technology is however only available in selected areas such as Gigiri, Runda, Buru Buru, Parklands and Kabete in Nairobi and in Changamwe and within airport areas in Mombasa at the moment but is expected to roll out in other towns in the coming months.
The technology will now allow Safaricom to deliver broadband internet to homes, which they could not do with the 3G (network).
The firm has maintained that the cost of accessing the 4G internet would remain the same as with 3G but interested subscribers will have to replace their current SIM cards at a cost of Sh50 and, if necessary, invest in a 4G or long term evolution enabled device (LTE).
Safaricom has been the leading mobile network operator in the country, with its closest rival being Airtel. They owe it much to their mobile money transfer, Mpesa, which is currently being threatened by Equity bank’s entry into the mobile money transfer sector with its Equitel product.
ICT has been one of the fastest growing sectors in the country’s economy and Kenyans have welcomed the upgrade.