Safaricom launches LTE Advanced

By Tom Jackson, South Africa

Safaricom has launched its LTE Advanced (4G) proposition in Kenya.

The company said the service will result in significant improvements in data speeds and latency to customers while maintaining superior voice quality.

“Today’s launch progresses our strategic push to democratise 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 chief executive officer (CEO) Bob Collymore.

The service will be initially rolled out in Nairobi and Mombasa, before scaling to other major towns in the coming months.

Safaricom’s LTE Advanced network will offer peak speeds of up to 100Mbps, more than twice the speed offered on 3G technology, making it possible for customers to download and upload files faster, as well as enjoy buffer-free streaming of audio and video.

It also enables ‘Carrier Aggregation’, which will 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 online. 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.

Safaricom said it will also offer affordable internet-enabled devices by leveraging on the relationships it has with global phone manufacturers.

Collymore said Safaricom is keen to supply affordable 4G-enabled devices, including phones, routers and modems to the market, supplementing the already available iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Huawei P7 smartphones available in Safaricom shops.

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