Safaricom deploys 400G network link to quadruple its capacity for home & enterprise users

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Safaricom has deployed a 400G network link, to support the increasing video consumption alongside demand for higher video quality, support the emergence of smart homes and also meet its surging demands for data.

According to Thibaud Rerolle, Chief Technology Officer – Safaricom, “The 400G solution will support the continued growth of our network which is being driven by an explosion in internet usage. Mobile data usage on our network has been doubling year-on-year while our fibre network now reaches more than 220,000 homes and 17,000 businesses across more than ten towns. It was therefore prudent to invest in the latest network technology to ensure that we can support the demand from our customers for years to come.”

The high capacity link will quadruple the company’s capacity to carry internet traffic over 500 kilometres. The link will achieve a speed of up to 400 Gigabits per second, an upgrade from the previous connection which offered speeds of 100 Gbps.

In the two years to September 2018, Safaricom experienced a four-fold growth in average data usage per customer which went from 160 Megabytes per customer per month to 640 Megabytes per customer per month.

Safaricom also saw its 4G coverage grow to more than 2,600 sites providing coverage to more than 53 per cent of the country’s population while its 3G coverage now offers high-speed broadband to more than 91 per cent of the population.

To accommodate its growing network coverage, Safaricom has also laid more than 5,500 kilometres of fibre linking its masts in more than 16 major towns. 

The 400G standard was approved in December 2017 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, paving the way for network equipment suppliers and operators to begin deploying equipment that officially conforms to the standard.