Kenya’s Jamii Telecom to upgrade fiber optic network


Kenya’s broadband Internet service provider Jamii Telecom announced it would spend some $3 million on a new plan to upgrade its entire fiber optic network in the country. The goals of the upgrades are to position the company as the leading option ahead of government tenders.

Jamii Telecom is to upgrade its entire fiber optic network (image: stock.xchng)

The Kenyan government plans to open tenders for Internet connectivity for rural areas in the near future and JTL hopes to boost its existing capacity ahead of that in order to lead the pack for deals.

“It is a move that will likely enable us to be able to fit in nicely to any proposition the government will make for companies to bid on the new Internet capacity in rural areas,” a spokesman for the company told late on Tuesday.

According to Business Daily Africa, the upgrade will see JTL’s existing Ethernet network upgraded to the Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) standard, which should give the company more security than rivals Kenya Data Networks (KDN) and Telkom Kenya as it seeks to formulate working relationships with banks and other financial institutions perceived to be increasingly susceptible to cyber-crime.

Joshua Chepkwony, chairman of JTL, said that the upgrade – which is scheduled to commence next week – “is expected to be completed by end-March [and] it will cover Nairobi, Mombasa, Naivasha, Nakuru, Eldoret, Kisumu, Kitale, Bugoma, Busia, Kakamega, Thika, Kisii and Kericho.”

He added in a statement that “the upgrade will give us a head start over our rivals, especially in the counties where banks and government will require secure internet connections due to the sensitivity of the information they handle.”

The cost of the project – equipment is to be provided by Israel-based supplier ECI Telecom – will be met through vendor financing, with JTL fulfilling its credit obligations in a series of instalments, the company said.

Janan Yussif