Safaricom plans to double 4G sites by 2020

08 May 2019 | Natalie Bannerman

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Safaricom has announced plans to double its number of 4G sites to 5000 base stations by March 2020, bringing its network coverage in Kenya to 80%.

The news was confirmed by CEO Bob Collymore during the announcement of the company’s financial results for 2019. For the period, Safaricom saw its net income increase by 14.7% equal to $627 million (KES 63.4 billion) with revenue totalling $2.3 billion (KES 240.3 billion).

“We are pleased with the strong results we have delivered for the year, building on our long track record of delivering relevant products and putting the customer first. We foresee continued growth in the future,” said Collymore.

The project is expected to cost Safaricom over $355 million (KES 36 billion), which will see the company deploy an additional 2,030 $G and 4G+ base stations.

“For a majority of Kenyans, the mobile phone is often the first and only link to the Internet. By broadening our 4G coverage to almost anyone in the country, we aim to ensure that no one has to miss an opportunity or get left out because of lack of access to affordable, quality, high-speed broadband, ” continued Collymore.

Safaricom was the first operator to roll out 4G in Kenya back 2014 and in June 2017, it was the first in East Africa to upgrade a section of its 4G network to 4G+. 4G provides customers with speeds of up to 100Mbps with Safaricom’s 4G+ network supporting double the 4G speeds.

“Looking ahead, the business will sustain its momentum of investing in the quality of our service and diversification of our revenue portfolio to ensure sustained returns to shareholders,” added Collymore.

Back in March, Safaricom announced plans to upgrade its 100Gbps fibre backbone to 400Gbps, to cater for the increasing amount of video being transmitted over the network.