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Safaricom expands Kenyan LTE coverage with Intelsat deal

Hans Geldenhuys Intelsat.jpg
Intelsat

Kenyan operator Safaricom is to use Intelsat satellites to expand LTE coverage to more subscribers across the country

Kenyan operator Safaricom is to use Intelsat satellites to expand LTE coverage to more subscribers across the country.

Safaricom, which is also the majority shareholder in neighbouring Safaricom Ethiopia, will use Intelsat’s satellites to bring 4G connectivity for the 70% of the Kenyan population who live in rural areas.

Intelsat director of sales in Africa, Hans Geldenhuys (pictured), said: “The reach of our network across the African continent also offers growth opportunities as Safaricom looks to expand its activities in other countries in the region.”

Gerishon Gitonga, head of network planning and design at Safaricom, said: “Intelsat’s understanding of our needs and the support provided by their Nairobi team ensured the success of this project and will be a great help as we grow the network.”

LTE technology, also more commonly called 4G, will deliver the fast mobile internet connectivity, said Safaricom Kenya.

Gitonga said: “As we work toward providing LTE coverage everywhere, Intelsat’s ubiquitous satellite solutions complement terrestrial infrastructure, enabling us to connect people, businesses and communities, even in the most challenging locations.”

Safaricom Kenya is the 55.7% shareholder in Safaricom Ethiopia, which is due to launch its first services in April. Last week the Ethiopian company signed a wholesale deal with the national power grid to use its fibre network.