Kenya urged to adopt Open Access for LTE

August 29, 2013 • Mobile and Telecoms, Top Stories

Kenya is gearing up for the deployment of 4G or Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks throughout the country, but ahead of the deployment telecoms solutions provider Ericsson is calling on Kenya to adopt the Open Access model.

Kenya's capital Nairobi is set to benefit from LTE (image: Go Africa)

Kenya’s capital Nairobi is set to benefit from LTE (image: Go Africa)

By implementing an Open Access model, David Ochanda, Ericsson Kenya’s business development director, said that the whole country would benefit, instead of just a small portion of the population.

“The Open Access model – if adopted by the Kenya government and by extension the IT industry – will see the network being deployed countrywide. When left to deploy the LTE network as proposed in the consortium model, the MNOs will only focus on high potential areas where they can get maximum revenues thereby further minimizing access to broadband services by underserved regions,” said Ochanda.

By having an Open Access model, it will give access to the infrastructure to clients other than the owners, for a fee.

Ochanda lamented that Kenya could have been a leader in Open Access before any other African country, but Rwanda has been increasing their efforts.  “However, this has not been realized, with Rwanda now expected to lead the region by deploying its LTE via the Open Access”.

Kenya’s deployment of LTE will be made possible through a proposed LTE consortium consisting of the Kenya government as well as Safaricom, Telkom Kenya-Orange, Airtel, Essar Telecom’s yuKenya, KDN, MTN, Alcatel-Lucent and Epesi Communications.

According to CIO East Africa, “Ericsson proposed to build a country-wide 4G/LTE network for free and recover the costs after a 15-year period.” The implementation of the initial phase of the country’s LTE project is set to cost $94-million.

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor

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