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Monday, September 29, 2014


Safaricom has lost its contract to provide mobile phone services to the US Mission in Kenya to rival Airtel.

US Embassy staff who use Safaricom lines have now been ported to Airtel but have retained their Safaricom numbers.

The Embassy pays about Sh40million a month in phone bills for its staff to Safaricom.

It is thought that Airtel might have given a cheaper offer.

Safaricom representatives on the account remarked that the Mission would be back to using Safaricom services in no time.

This is the single biggest case of porting phone numbers since number portability begun in the country in April 2011. All those who had Safaricom lines retain the same exact number but the service is now Airtel.

Airtel has been seen as particularly friendly in price when it comes to making international calls. Calls to the US for instance attract near local rates.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Safaricom will roll out 4G/LTE services on its network by June 2015.

It will be the first company to roll out the service after it managed to purchase some 800Mhz frequency to go the journey alone.

Government had insisted on a consortium approach such as that used on the TEAMS undersea cable but Safaricom has been raring to go it alone.

The concession to buy the frequencies at about US$75million came about after Safaricom offered to build a security network for the police without receiving payment upfront.

It will roll out a new core network on the 400Mhz band for the National Police Network for data capture and transmission to a command center at Vigilance House.

John Tombleson, CFO, Safaricom expects rolling out of LTE to take place immediately after the signing of the contract with government next week.

The company had already begun testing the LTE network around Nairobi and Mombasa.

Because it runs on a lower frequency able to cover more ground, the LTE rollout may be cheaper than the operator's 3G network which requires a lot more radios mounted up.

Safaricom will use the LTE for last-mile connectivity with the main aim being to capture such markets as online streaming and triple play services.

The company has been expanding its fiber optic network to handle the backhaul.


 Amazon Web Services, the cloud computing arm of Amazon Inc., will establish a presence at the Kenya Internet Exchange Point soon.

KIXP officials indicate the Cloudfront Content Delivery Network will be the third large CDN after Akamai Technologies also set up a presence there while Google set up a cache allowing content such as youtube videos to be accessed much faster and save local firms thousands of dollars.

KIXP is the peering exchange point for Internet Service Providers and other operators to exchange local traffic.

It allows local traffic to remain local and firms avoid paying international access fees. Traffic delivery times are also faster.

KIXP recently moved to Sameer Park's East Africa Data Center as it continued its unprecedented five year run as the fastest growing IXP globally, according to Technical Manager Barry Apudo.

The growth has been occasioned by e-government services such as KRA's online tax filing system, the Kenya Education Network KENET, the annual use of SMS to web query by the Kenya National Examination Council's exam results and so on.

Cloudfront will allow faster access of data.

Among Cloudfront's clients include; Netflix, Nokia, Conde Nast, Adobe, Foursquare, Pfizer etc.