Kenya seeks partners for 4G network

Reuters

On Monday, Kenya announced that it invites investors interested in partnering with the country to build a fourth-generation Long Term Evolution (LTE) services network, as it plans to ramp up investment in the country's telecoms industry.

"The government envisages a Private Public Partnership "PPP" model in which the government will undertake to provide the necessary frequency spectrum resources as its contribution, while the private sector will undertake to meet all other costs related to the deployment and operations," the Ministry of Information and Communications said in an advertisement published in local newspapers on Monday.

The ministry said among other requirements, potential investors were expected to have at least 20% Kenyan shareholding and demonstrate financial and technical capability to roll out commercial services to the country's 47 counties within a year of forming a partnership with the government.

Mobile phone penetration stands at more than 50% of Kenya's population of 39 million people.

At present, Safaricom, partly owned by Britain's Vodafone, is the only network in Kenya to have fully rolled out a 3G network across east Africa's largest economy and is already testing the LTE technology at five sites.

Other firms with 3G licences are Telkom Kenya, controlled by France Telecom's Orange, and the Kenyan unit of India's Bharti Airtel. Both Orange and Airtel are in the process of rolling 3G networks countrywide.

Data is seen as a major growth area in the telecoms sector, prompting firms to invest heavily to offset the impact of falling voice revenues on the back of a price war.

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