Airtel Kenya Set to Launch 5G Network and Expand Coverage Nationwide

Airtel Kenya plans to introduce a 5G network for consumers by July, aiming to expand its subscriber base and enhance internet connectivity. The company also unveils a comprehensive network expansion strategy with 649 new sites to meet growing data service demand.

Highlights

  • Airtel Kenya plans to launch a 5G network for consumers by July, presenting an opportunity to increase its subscriber base.
  • The company aims to meet growing data service demand through an extensive network expansion strategy, adding 649 new sites.
  • Airtel Kenya addresses poor network connectivity and plans to deploy LTE, 5G, eSIM, and VOLTE services for enhanced connectivity.

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Airtel Kenya Set to Launch 5G Network and Expand Coverage Nationwide

Airtel Kenya, the country's second-largest telecoms operator, has announced its plans to launch a 5G network for consumers by July. This move presents a significant opportunity for Airtel to expand its subscriber base through high-speed internet connectivity, following in the footsteps of market leader Safaricom.




Also Read: Airtel Africa Reports Over 11 Percent Revenue Growth and Increased Customer Base

5G Network Launch and Nework Expansion

In addition to the 5G launch, Airtel Kenya has unveiled an extensive network expansion strategy to meet the increasing demand for data services across the country. The telecom operator aims to enhance connectivity and improve service quality by adding 649 new sites to its network coverage nationwide, the local media reported.

Currently, Airtel Kenya is actively deploying 349 new sites, which are expected to be fully operational by the end of the year. Moreover, an additional 300 sites are in the pipeline for future expansion, demonstrating the company's commitment to meeting customer needs.

With over 3,200 sites spread across all 47 counties, Airtel Kenya's existing network infrastructure already covers 89 percent of the country. The network expansion initiative aims to further enhance coverage and ensure reliable connectivity for Airtel customers.

Also Read: Airtel Nigeria Launches Commercial 5G Services

Strategy for Improved Connectivity

During a press conference held at the Airtel office in Nairobi, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Airtel, expressed his enthusiasm for the upcoming 5G rollout. Mittal emphasised Airtel's dedication to continuous expansion and innovation, with a focus on exceeding customer expectations and bridging the digital divide.

"It will be the single largest rollout this year ever in the history of Airtel Kenya," Sunil Bharti Mittal, Bharti Airtel, said.

"Digital development in this country certainly is a strong starting point…you can see focus by the government to digitise its services too."

Sunil Bharti Mittal said, "At Airtel, we are driven by a relentless commitment to continuous expansion and innovation. Our goal is not only to exceed customer expectations in the present but also to propel them into a future they have only begun to imagine."

"With every step we take to advance our network infrastructure and capabilities, we aim to bridge the digital divide, empowering individuals, businesses, and communities," Sunil Bharti Mittal added.

"We understand that the needs of our customers are ever-evolving, and we are dedicated to staying one step ahead, anticipating their desires and providing solutions that surpass their dreams."

Also Read: Strengthening Partnership: Tim Cook and Sunil Bharti Mittal Discuss Collaboration in Indian and African Markets

Seeking Government Support

Acknowledging the dominance of Safaricom in the market, Mittal called upon the government to create a level playing field for all operators. Airtel Kenya is actively seeking the government's support to balance the market dynamics and gain a larger market share, particularly in the mobile money sector.

"We are cognisant that this is a country with two viable mobile operators. Safaricom is the dominant player anywhere in the world. This is something we are trying hard to balance out to take for a share of the market," he said.

"We are requesting the government's support, stepping up our investments and resolve here. It's the mobile money part, but our company is determined to make strong gains in that market in the coming years as well," Sunil Mittal added.

To ensure sustainable growth for all operators, Airtel Kenya also urged the government to review mobile termination rates and designate telecoms as critical infrastructure to prevent any losses.

Also Read: Airtel Kenya Sets New Brand Positioning, Launches VoLTE Service

Addressing Network Connectivity Issues

In parallel to network expansion, Airtel Kenya says it is addressing the issue of poor network connectivity in some areas. The company plans to deploy LTE on the 2600 Mhz band for capacity expansion and aims to roll out 5G, eSIM, and VOLTE services. Additionally, Airtel Kenya is planning the introduction of small cell/street solutions in densely populated areas, such as the Eastland areas.

Commitment to Sustainability and Environmental Responsibility

Demonstrating a commitment to environmental responsibility, Airtel Kenya is implementing a decarbonisation strategy to reduce its environmental footprint. The company will introduce lithium-ion batteries and embrace solar power technology to power its network infrastructure, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while delivering top-notch services.

"We believe that it is important to balance our business needs with our environmental responsibility," stated Olusegun Ogunsanya, Group CEO of Airtel Africa.

"By using sustainable technologies, we can help protect the environment while also providing our customers with the best possible service," added Olusegun.

Also Read: Airtel to Invest USD 700 Million in Nigeria, Reveals Mittal: Report

Subscriber Base and Airtel Money Special Promotion

As reported by the Communications Authority of Kenya, Airtel Kenya currently holds a 17.5 million subscribers market share compared to Safaricom's 41.9 million users.

To further enhance customer satisfaction and attract new users, Airtel Kenya recently announced a special offer allowing Airtel Money users to pay their electricity bills without any transaction charges for the next six months.

Airtel Kenya's Phased 5G RollOut

As initially planned, Airtel Kenya's 5G network will first be available in high-income neighbourhoods in Nairobi. This strategic decision aims to leverage the existing ownership of compatible devices and purchasing power among subscribers in these areas, ensuring a successful rollout.

Overall, Airtel Kenya's upcoming 5G launch, network expansion, and commitment to sustainability demonstrate its dedication to meeting customer demands, driving innovation, and creating a more inclusive digital landscape in Kenya.

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