The government plans to rollout 4G mobile network in the country in the next four months.
The Principal Secretary for Broadcasting and Telecommunications Mr Sammy Itemere said two operators have been offering 4G trial services in selected parts of the country, explaining that the delay in the programme rollout was caused by high investments costs.
Briefing the media after officially opening the first African Telecommunications Union Conference in in Nairobi on Monday, Mr Itemere said the government through the Communications Authority of Kenya will facilitate mobile operators to roll out the infrastructure.
4G networks enable users of enabled phones and other devices easily access video streaming and teleconferencing. Safaricom is already conducting 4G trials in Nairobi and Mombasa while Airtel and Orange are in set to conduct their trials. “The government encourages mobile operators to share infrastructure to minimize cost of network deployment and lower call charges among subscribers,” he said.
The PS noted the World Radio Conference (WRC) preparatory conference is aimed at developing a common African approach on mobile telephony that will safeguard the interest of African countries in the global market.
He observed that the meeting comes at a time when there is a growing demand for more spectrum because of the increasing mobile traffic and development of new innovative services. Mr Itemere said the Internet of Things is projected to contribute to 50 billion connected devices by 2020, a situation that need re-strategising in the ICT approaches.
The PS noted that World Bank Report indicate that 10 per cent increase in broadband penetration in Kenya led to 1.2 percent growth in GDP, adding that the 2012 International Telecommunications Union (ITU) report demonstrated benefits of broad band to the environment as 10 per cent penetration during the period resulted in five per cent reduction in green-house emission.
The four-day conference is being attended by telecoms and ICT experts from Africa is a preparatory meeting for the World Radio Conference to be held in Nairobi in 2019. Among those in attendance were ITU Secretary General Mr Abdulkarim Soumaila and ITU Radio Communications Bureau Representative Mr Philippe Aubineua. (Cheruiyot Korir)