Telecommunications giants Safaricom and Telkom have installed six base transceiver stations in Kilifi and Kwale County in a move aimed at adding thousands of Kenyans in remote areas to the national telecoms grid.
Safaricom and Telkom had initially won tenders worth Ksh. 888 million and Ksh. 350 million respectively in a deal with the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) to improve connectivity in 78 marginalized sub-locations.
Reports from the CA have confirmed that Safaricom has successfully constructed three base stations in Kilifi while Telkom Kenya has erected the remaining three in Kwale.
According to the report by the Business Daily, Dr Kennedy Okong’o; a member of the Universal Services Advisory Council which serves as the advice-giving arm of the CA, the improved connectivity will favour the areas’ residents.
“The intention is to stimulate the economy of such an area … Access to communication is like a human right to everyone today. Without communication you cannot access some services that are online,” Dr. Okon’go is quoted as saying by the Business Daily when the Council visited the sites of the stations.
Area residents are expected to enjoy better connectivity and faster processing of mobile transactions with the installation of the base stations that will serve locals from varying sub locations in the two counties.
According to the regulator, the stations will be owned by the CA for five years while the telcos will maintain them on behalf of the supervisory body. The ownership will be transferred to the telcos after the five years.
Telkom Kenya has been making headlines in the past two days after it was revealed that the Telco and rival firm Airtel were considering forming a merger in an attempt to create a stronger challenger to Telco giant Safaricom that has dominated the market in the last two decades.