Ericsson Kenya has called for the adoption of the open access mode for the Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks (generally known as 4G network) in Kenya. The Ericsson Kenya’s Business Development Director Mr. David Ochanda said that the mode would ensure overall network coverage across the country.
As Kenya’s IT sector prepares to benefit from faster connectivity and internet speeds arising from the deployment of 4G or Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks, global telecoms solutions provider Ericsson is calling for the adoption of the open access model. “The Open Access model – if adopted by the Kenya government and by extension the IT industry – will see the network being deployed countrywide. When left to deploy the LTE network as proposed in the consortium model, the MNOs will only focus on high potential areas where they can get maximum revenues thereby further minimizing access to broadband services by underserved regions,” said Ochanda during a media workshop on LTE.
Kenya was meant to be the pioneer in Open Access before other countries but Rwanda is now expected to lead the region by deploying its LTE via the Open Access. Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) has formed a consortium to lead the deployment of LTE though several proposals exist for the deployment. It is not clear which mode the government will adopt. The LTE consortium consist of the Kenya government (through Treasury), Safaricom, Telkom Kenya-Orange, Airtel, Essar Telecom’s yuKenya, KDN, MTN, Alcatel-Lucent and Epesi Communications. The mandate of the consortium is to implement the initial phase of the country’s LTE project at cost of Kshs 8.4 billion.
Notably, Ericsson proposed to build a country-wide 4G/LTE network for free and recover the costs after a 15-year period. Projections in ICT development indicate that by 2020 Internet connectivity mode will have moved to 5G technology, with much of the data traffic expected to come from smart devices like home appliances rather than phones and tablets.
Ericsson in partnership with Zamtel is to test 4G network in Zambia.