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Safaricom collaborates with Intelsat to expand LTE coverage in Kenya

Safaricom will be able to provide carrier-grade satellite services to remote areas with Intelsat's global hybrid network.

Kenya’s mobile telephone operator, Safaricom, has signed a multi-year contract with Intelsat to modernise its network and expand LTE coverage to more subscribers across the whole country.

Intelsat will provide Safaricom with both cellular backhaul over satellite and enterprise connectivity services.

The availability of Safaricom LTE service everywhere will enhance connectivity for the 68.9% of the Kenyan population that lives in rural areas. Bringing such service to these challenging, hard-to-reach places supports the Kenyan Government’s vision for a digitally empowered citizenry.

Intelsat’s global satellite network with Safaricom’s expertise will ensure secure coverage, even in the most remote areas of the country. Intelsat’s network delivers carrier-grade bandwidth where and when it is needed most, ensuring a seamless, reliable experience for businesses to operate optimally, connect with their customers and benefit from new commercial opportunities. LTE technology delivers the fast mobile internet connectivity needed for an optimal experience, turning smartphones into powerful connected devices and opening up new opportunities.

Commenting on the partnership, Gerishon Gitonga, head of Network Planning and Design, Safaricom, said: “Intelsat has long been a trusted partner of Safaricom. As we work toward providing LTE coverage everywhere, Intelsat’s ubiquitous satellite solutions complement terrestrial infrastructure, enabling us to connect people, businesses and communities, even in the most challenging locations. Intelsat’s understanding of our needs and the support provided by their Nairobi team ensured the success of this project and will be a great help as we grow the network.”

Intelsat Director of Sales in Africa, Hans Geldenhuys, added: “This strategic partnership enables Safaricom to leverage our global hybrid network and expand its LTE coverage to remote areas and more subscribers in Kenya, helping them increase their revenue and provide an improved, more reliable experience to their customers, no matter where they are. The reach of our network across the African continent also offers growth opportunities as Safaricom looks to expand its activities in other countries in the region.”

 Intelsat and Safaricom’s long-term partnership has always been focused on driving innovation across the continent. Safaricom is now working on next-generation innovation through connectivity everywhere, while Intelsat is currently leveraging its global orbital and spectrum rights, scale, and partnerships to build the world’s first global 5G satellite-based, a software-defined network of networks.