Kenya unveils plans to double bandwidth capacity

Kenya’s government has announced plans to lay a fifth fibre-optic cable, which is expected to double the country’s bandwidth capacity from the current 8,6Tbit/s to more than than 15Tbit/s.

According to the Ministry of Information and Communications permanent secretary Dr. Bitange Ndemo, improved uptake of the current cable capacity will only be possible once the country adopts 4G. Although he did not specify the timeline, the PS said that a firm in the Middle East is in negotiations with the government on the procurement process.

With four undersea cables, namely SEACOM, EASSy, LION-2, and TEAMS, hold nearly2.8 terabytes of bandwidth, though the country only uses some 6 percent of its available bandwidth presently. The cables which also serve the country’s neighbouring countries supplies over 5,261,919Mbps international connectivity.

At the outset, Kenya depended on satellite to access the Net, where bandwidth and cost of Internet connectivity proved major obstacles to growth in Web access.

Statistics from the industry regulator Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) shows close to 17.3 million people in the country had access to the Net as of December 2011, indicating a 44.12 percent penetration rate.

Kenya’s government has recently been engaged in plans to boost the economy leveraging on ICT. According to Ndemo, the state is in plans to establish two Tier 4 data centres at Konza City, Kenya’s much anticipated technopolis. Currently, the country is served by two data centres, the National Data Centre and the Kenya Data Networks Data Centre.

Meanwhile, Kenya’s government has revealed plans to launch its National ICT Master plan, detailing how the country can be positioned as a leader in ICT investment and innovation by the year 2017.

According to HumanIPO reports, the launch is scheduled for November 29 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi, hosted by the Kenya ICT Board.

The plan, which is expected to solidify Kenya’s footing in the region as an ICT hub, is also expected to propagate the SMEs with their automation projected at 60 percent.

It is projected the ICT Industry would contribute an approximated $2 billion (25 percent of GDP), create 500 ICT companies, and 50,000 jobs by 2017.

Posted in: Internet

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