Safaricom, Kenya’s largest cellco by subscribers, has announced that it will begin technical trials of 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology across its network within the next two months.
Safaricom has selected Chinese firm Huawei Technologies to supply its core network requirements, and to facilitate the rollout itself.
The two companies have signed a three-year strategic partnership worth KES12 billion (USD141.2 million). Speaking during the signing ceremony at Huawei’s headquarters in China, Safaricom's CEO Michael Joseph told the Kenyan Broadcasting Corporation: ‘We are going to do a technical LTE trial on our spectrum to see if it suits the Kenyan market and its commercial viability.
This is completely a technical trial and not a commercial trial and we are going to do the trials within our spectrum in the next two months’. Joseph also said that Safaricom is keen to overhaul its billing system and core network, whilst expanding its 3G network coverage across the country. These upgrades are expected to begin within the next six months and will be completed in two phases.