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CA allocates Sh1.6bn for mobile towers in arid areas

Communications Authority of Kenya (CA)
Communications Authority of Kenya (CA). FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) allocated Sh1.6 billion towards development of mobile telephony infrastructure in 101 marginalised sub-locations in 14 counties during the 2020/2021 financial year.

The move will see more than 270,000 residents in the remote and low-income pastoralist and the largely arid regions enjoy access to mobile money services, internet connections and voice communications.

Beneficiaries include Kitui’s Kaatene, Muthungue, Ndakani and Kavutei with 20,370 people, Kajiado’s Loodariak, Oldebes, Najile and Enkorika with 28,903 people as well as 20,923 residents of Akiriamet,Amaler and Meshau in West Pokot.

The CA’s latest tender bid that closed last Wednesday is looking for contractors to construct base transmission stations, giving them five months to inspect the sites and submit their applications.

“Phase 2 shall require successful bidders to construct facilities and facilitate extension of network coverage to the specified sub locations for provision of mobile broadband, voice, SMS and other communication services running on a third Generation (3G) network or higher,”said the CA.

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Universal Services Fund’s (USF) first phase launched in 2017 has since benefited 290,000 people living in 14 counties.

USF is used to develop communication towers in areas considered unprofitable. It is drawn from a mandatory 0.5 percent levy on gross revenues accruing annually from licensed firms.

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