Rerolle told the LTE Africa conference in Cape Town Safaricom had begun building its own fibre network last year to improve the quality of service, control costs and reduce the total cost of ownership.
Safaricom's own fibre network will enhance customer experience in Kenya “in the long run”, while the converged network will support the heterogeneous needs for backhauling, provide new business opportunities and create an opportunity for a shared service model.
Rerolle said Safaricom covers approximately 90 per cent of Kenya's population. “We have in Kenya about 42 per cent of internet penetration and interestingly enough... we have less than one per cent of fixed network penetration,” he said.
Safaricom's basic broadband strategy for Kenya includes the modernisation of microwave links to all Internet Protocol (IP), a “digital city fibre optic self built project” and an early introduction of point to multi-point wireless backhaul.
Also forming part of Safaricom's broadband strategy is the deployment of Internet Protocol Radio Access Network (IPRAN) to urban areas in the country. This includes a flexible service interface, high capacity and comprehensive redundancy features.
“If we take a look at what LTE will bring, or what increase bandwidth requirements will bring, this is of course very impacting on all elements... of the regional backhaul... we are currently significantly below one gigabyte... But in the future this will eventually grow closer to two or five gigabyte per second,” said Rerolle.