Telkom Kenya to Ramp-Up its 4-G Network as Alphabet Shuts Down Loon

Telkom has started plans to upgrade its 4G network following the closure of balloon-powered internet business by Alphabet Inc.

Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., recently announced that it was closing Loon, a company that had been offering balloon-powered internet connection.

Loon had been using a floating balloon to take internet to underserved regions where the cost of establishing network towers is quite prohibitive.

However, Alphabet announced on Thursday that it was no longer running the programme because it was not commercially sustainable.

Until the decision was made, Telkom had partnership with Alphabet Inc. to use the balloon-powered network in Kenya. This made Telkom internet accessible and reliable even in remote areas.

Things will now change, and Telkom has to evolve or shape out as competition continues in the internet technology industry.

On Friday, Chief executive officer of Telkom Mugo Kibati said, ““Telkom believes in taking bold decisions. It was very exciting, therefore, to partner with like-minded pioneers in the adoption and usage of innovative technologies such as Loon, with the aim of filling in the Internet access gaps in areas that were difficult to service.”

The CEO was quick to mention the company’s next move. He announced that the company will continue pursuing its long-term terrestrial network expansion strategy. Telkom is planning to increase its 4G coverage to 80% and increase their network connectivity across the country.

Telkom Kenya is known for its strategic position of offering cheap and easy access to internet connection, with the goal of getting more Kenyans online. This is part of its strategic focus on internet technology, considering Safaricom and Airtel’s dominance in voice, messaging, and mobile transfer services.

Loon had established work stations in Nyeri, Nakuru and Nairobi; but it will stop full operation from March 1st. The reason for the closure of Loon business was high investment costs.

To stay competitive in its business segment of internet technology, Telkom is considering various options to increase its 4G connectivity and keep its mission of connecting rural areas alive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *