Airtel Kenya finalises payment for 4G Internet rollout

Airtel becomes the second telco after market leader Safaricom to pay the fee

The Communications Authority on Wednesday confirmed that the telco paid the amount early last month for the 4G LTE 800 MHz signal.

Airtel, the country’s second-largest telco by market share, has been testing the signal across the country since April 2017 with an aim to grow sites covered by the spectrum to 65 sites. The firm, later in October applied to extend its 4G trial licence.

“We are in the process of (officially) rolling out 4G and we expect to officially launch soon. We are driving towards the fastest speeds at the most affordable rates in Kenyan market with Airtel 4G,” Airtel said in a statement.

Airtel becomes the second telco after market leader Safaricom to pay the fee. The investment further cements the firm’s position to continue operating in the country despite media reports of a looming exit from the East African market.

Airtel and Telkom Kenya were at the start of last year compelled by the CA to install infrastructure that supports high-speed 4G internet services. This coupled with the failure to pay the $25 million licence fee limited their chances of obtaining permits.

Telkom Kenya and Jamii Telecom have also rolled out 4G offerings for home broadband and mobile telecominications respectively in a bit to increase their market share.

Data from the CA shows during the June-September period, Airtel Networks Limited recorded a market share of 15.7 per cent in mobile data subscriptions, second to Safaricom’s 76 per cent market share.

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