Orange Kenya and Airtel have the go ahead from the Communications Authority of Kenya to launch 4G trails on their networks meaning that they are also allowed to launch the technology on commercial basis.
According to the Business Daily, the two companies are a step behind Safaricom which has already launched Long term Evolution network in Nairobi and Mombasa and now the telco is waiting for extra frequency capacity to increase its wireless broadband service to other parts of the country.
“So far, all the NFP Tier 1 licensees have been authorised to carry out tests on the spectrum they are already using,” CA director-general Francis Wangusi said in the report.
Wangusi added that the mobile firms should re-farm their frequencies and rool out 4G networks so that they can share capacity with the ones lacking similar networks.
Orange is yet to starting its testing with Chief Executive Officer Vincent Lobry saying that its main focus was to ensure optimal use of its 3G frequencies. The company boasts 3G network in 41 new urban and peri-urban areas.
Despite Orange having a technology-neutral licence that allows it to launch any telecommunication services including 4G, it does not have the required frequency for 4G.
Wangusi said the CA has freed up spectrum in the 168 MHz band and is currently working on a new frequency pricing model.
The CA authorisation given to Airtel and Orange comes in the wake of the recently implemented digital migration that released much needed spectrum.