Airtel Kenya has spent Sh4.7 billion to acquire and additional 60 MHz spectrum in the 2600 MHz band as it seeks to expand its mobile network coverage in the country.The additional spectrum will support the telco’s 4G network capacity expansion in the market for both mobile data and fixed wireless home broadband capability, and will also allow for future 5G rollout.
Airtel’s licence for the spectrum is valid from July 2022 for a period of 15 years.
“This investment reflects our continued confidence in the opportunity inherent in the Kenya market, supporting the local communities and economies through furthering digital inclusion and connectivity,” Airtel Africa said in a statement.
In April, Airtel Kenya Sh1.13 billion to the Communications Authority of Kenya for a network license, as it sought to offer additional data services to customers without increasing bundle charges.
Telcos are in a race to cover most of the country with the fourth generation (4G) broadband cellular technology to attract and retain subscribers using smartphones.
Airtel’s rival, Safaricom has launched 5G services, albeit in a pilot phase, and is expected to fully launch the service by 2023. Telkom has rolled out 4G services in various parts of the country and expects to add 2,000 4G sites by 2023.
As at March 31, 2022, 3G and 4G mobile broadband subscriptions stood at 12.7 million and 16.7 million respectively, Communication Authority od Kenya(CA) data shows.