Kenya is in the process of drafting a policy that would see the country provide 4G (LTE) services to mobile data subscribers. Cabinet secretary for Information, Communication and Technology, Fred Matiang’i explained that a new spectrum policy will be available for public comment.
“After receiving the memoranda with various comments on the policy, we will hold a stakeholders’ meeting and then present the policy to the cabinet for approval,” he said. Matiang’i added that process should take about five months to complete, and urged the public to voice their opinions.
“We have proposed to go by the public-private partnerships-ownership model so as to avail the broadband in wholesale basis but there are actors who think we should auction licenses after grouping the spectrum into two or three bands,” he said.
The Communication Authority of Kenya currently only awards licenses for second generation (2G) and third generation (3G) networks.
According to Kenya’s The Star, “the 2G communication network is prone to interference and the 3G offers higher communication efficiency but it does not scale up to the level of 4G LTE that allows seamless streaming of video chat and fast downloading of applications, games, videos, and pictures.”
The main contenders for 4G licensing in Kenya are Safaricom, Airtel, Orange, yU, Liquid Telecoms, and MTN Business.
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor