Airtel telecommunication company has completed phase one of its network upgrade in Nairobi Area in what will result to comprehensive change of legacy hardware and expansion of radio network elements.
The first phase will significantly enhance network signals and improved voice quality for Airtel customers. According to Communication authority, all mobile phone operators failed to meet the Quality of Service (QoS) targets set by the regulator. None of the four operators; Safaricom, Airtel, Telkom and Essar met the service standards, according to the assessment of the performance of mobile networks in the country for the period 2013-2014. All of them however complied with QoS targets on Handover Success Rate, Call Drop Rate, Call Set Up Time and Signal Strength.
The performance on Speech Quality improved tremendously for three operators except Essar. There was degraded performance by all operators on three Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), namely, Call Set up Success Rate, Call Completion Rate and Call Block Rate. The assessment is conducted annually to ascertain compliance with the Kenya Information and Communications Act, 1998, the Regulations and license conditions in relation to Quality of Service (QoS).
Phase two of the upgrade which involves improving data speed is in progress and is expected to offer a stable and faster internet service. This upgrade exercise, under which Nokia Networks, one of the world’s leading specialists in mobile broadband deployed the latest wireless technologies, will enhance Airtel’s network capacity, robustness and help deliver best-in-class experience that include stronger and faster data speeds.
Airtel Kenya CEO Adil El Youssefi expressed his confidence in the completion of the upgrade saying that the company remains committed to ensuring that customers are connected to the most reliable and best quality network in the market.
“We are confident that the upgrade will increase our network capacity, improve voice quality and data speeds, helping us to continue enriching our customers’ internet and voice experience across the country,” added Mr. El Youssefi.
The company has also announced that it will embark on a major rollout of new sites in Nairobi area, which will help in ensuring that customers remain connected to a stronger network both outdoor and indoor from any part of the County. The company will continue with the upgrade exercise in other major towns in the country allowing customers to enjoy better network quality and internet experience.
The network upgrade makes Airtel Kenya 4G LTE ready. In November last year, Airtel Africa launched 4G in Seychelles and Rwanda, making the two countries amongst the first in sub Saharan Africa to commercially deploy the 4G network technology. In India, Bharti Airtel was the first operator to launch the 4G service, making it one of the first countries in the world to commercially deploy this cutting-edge technology.
Airtel currently has the widest 3G footprint in Africa, with all the 17 countries that Airtel operates connected to 3G services.