Kenyan telecoms operator Safaricom has announced a plan to double its 4G network coverage to 5,000 base stations by March 2020. The telco expects to invest over KES36 billion (USD351 million) extending coverage to all major towns and 80% of the country’s population through an additional 2,030 LTE and LTE-A (‘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,’ said CEO Bob Collymore. Safaricom was the first telco to roll out a 4G network in Kenya in December 2014, and in June 2017 upgraded parts of the network to LTE-A.
The announcement was made as the company reported its financial results for the year ending 31 March 2019, which saw a 14.7% rise in net income to KES63.4 billion and a 7% increase in revenues to KES240.3 billion. Voice service revenues rose 0.3% to KES95.94 billion, while M-PESA mobile money transfer revenues climbed 19.2% to KES74.99 billion.