Kenya aims to roll out its open-access Long Term Evolution (LTE) network by 2013, Bitange Ndemo, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Information and Communications, has told Reuters. Speaking on the sidelines of a joint US-Kenya conference on infrastructure projects, Ndemo commented: ‘We need to have it before the next elections [due in March 2013]. That is what we are targeting. We have finished with the study. We have sent it to the Ministry of Finance. We are just waiting for the approval and then we hit the road. In Phase One we will go to the counties and leverage the existing base stations. It is an open access model. We cannot set it up until we get the approval from Treasury. They can take one month or two months. But it is going to be very soon’. He estimated the cost of a nationwide LTE deployment at somewhere in the region of USD500 million.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, confirmed participants in the open-access project include: domestic mobile operators Safaricom, Airtel Kenya, Essar Telecom Kenya (yu) and Telkom Kenya (Orange Kenya); local broadband providers Kenya Data Networks (KDN) and MTN Business Kenya; and international vendors Alcatel-Lucent (France-US), Epesi Technologies (US) and Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN, Finland).