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4G/5G

Airtel Kenya Joins the 4G Club

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Airtel Kenya has finally launched 4G services, starting in Nairobi and Mombasa.

The operator, the number two mobile player in the country behind clear market leader Safaricom, has been slow to compete in the 4G market: Safaricom has been offering 4G mobile broadband services for more than two years and already has about 1 million users, while Telkom Kenya launched its 4G service in mid-2017. (See Kenya Hits 1 Million 4G Users and Is Safaricom's Dominance in Kenya Under Threat?)

Naturally, the Airtel Kenya management is positioning this as the right time to launch, now that multiple affordable devices are available, but it already has a lot of catching up to do and it has missed the first wave of early adopters. In an effort to attract customers interested in the faster mobile data connections that 4G enables, the operator is offering a number of offers, including data usage bonuses, though the operator's website was not promoting any such offers or even clearly marketing the availability of 4G services as this article was published (less than 24 hours after launch).

The launch comes as the Communications Authority of Kenya considers whether to introduce further competition into the country's 4G services market. (See Kenya's 4G Hopefuls Wait for Spectrum Ruling.)

Airtel performed well across its pan-African operations during the first quarter of 2018. (See Africa the Bright Spot for Bharti Airtel.)

— The staff, Connecting Africa

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