Safaricom biggest winner in Sh1.6bn network upgrade


The Communications Authority of Kenya head office in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Giant telecommunications firm, Safaricom #ticker:SCOM is among five firms that have been awarded a Sh1.57 billion deal to build base transceiver stations to boost network connectivity in 101 remote sub-locations across the country.

The telcos will set up their networks in unserved areas and expand voice services in a bid to improve communication for residents in 15 counties in partnership with the Communications Authority (CA).

Ngene Gituku, chairman of the Communications Authority(CA) board, said the five firms including Safaricom PLC, Airtel Networks Kenya Ltd i, Seal Towers Ltd, ATC Kenya Operations Ltd and Alan Dick and Company (East Africa) will handle the project.

“Safaricom won the lion’s share of the active components of the tender with 21 slots valued at Sh295, 044, 253 million. Airtel Networks Limited won five slots valued at Sh14.424, 253,” he said. Telkom Kenya did not bid.

People living in Turkana, Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, Garrissa, Isiolo, Samburu,Kajiado, Kilifi and Kitui are set to benefit from the partnership. Residents of Laikipia, West Pokot, Narok, Mandera, Tana River, Wajir, Lamu, and Marsabit counties will also be beneficiaries.

The awarding of the tenders paves way for implementation of Phase 2 of the Voice Infrastructure and Services Project which will help increase mobile voice and broadband connectivity and in effect opening new possibilities to citizens in the beneficiary areas.

“The deployment of services in the selected sub-locations will facilitate residents of beneficiary sub-locations to enjoy a host of services, including mobile voice, data, Internet and a bouquet of other value-added services, including mobile money,” Mr Gituku said.

To date, CA has closed communication gaps in 74 out of the 78 sub-locations that were awarded for voice infrastructure and services development during Phase 1, covering 330,342 people across 15 counties in Kenya.

“With the additional 101-sub locations earmarked in the second phase, the Authority intends to narrow the gap of those unserved and under-served areas in Kenya by the year 2022,” said Mercy Wanjau, the CA acting Director General.