Safaricom launches Kenya’s first 4G Internet services

Safaricom launched Kenya’s first fourth-generation (4G) Internet services on Thursday, seeking to capitalise on burgeoning mobile Internet use in the country.

The government of the east African nation of 40 million people wants the use of 4G high-speed broadband network to help raise the Internet’s contribution to economic growth to 10 percent in 2017 from about 3 percent this year.

Safaricom – Kenya’s largest telecoms phone firm – saw web data revenue rise by more than half in the six months to September.

The 4G service is a central part of its attempts to further expand its data business to counter slower growth in voice calls revenue.

The operator, 40 percent-owned by Britain’s Vodafone, signed a 15 billion shilling ($166 million) deal with the government last month to build a national security and surveillance system, and was offered the chance to buy the 4G radio spectrum – or frequencies – as part of the agreement.

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