Kenya Power, in a bid to meet the growing demand for high-speed internet and broaden its revenue streams, has initiated a pilot project focused on installing specialized utility poles known as Smart Poles.
These poles offer an innovative solution for deploying wireless last-mile data networks, benefiting both Kenya Power and telecommunications providers. The ongoing pilot, conducted in partnership with Safaricom, aims to improve data coverage and capacity while addressing signal interruptions.
As the demand for internet services continues to surge, telecommunications providers face the challenge of expanding their last-mile data networks. By leasing space on these Smart Poles, telecom companies can enhance their data coverage, capacity, and overall service quality. The pilot project, currently being carried out at six locations in Nairobi, sets the stage for the widespread installation of Smart Poles across Kenya Power’s overhead network.
The deployment of Smart Poles brings several advantages and opportunities.
Firstly, it enables Kenya Power to diversify its revenue streams by leasing pole space to telecom service providers. This diversification strategy ensures a sustainable future for Kenya Power while reducing reliance solely on electricity sales.
Secondly, the increased availability of high-speed internet connectivity through Smart Poles opens up new prospects for businesses, institutions, and individuals.
Through collaboration with the Ministry of ICT, Kenya Power aims to leverage its extensive network and fibre capacity to provide affordable internet connectivity infrastructure to public institutions. Schools and hospitals, in particular, will benefit from this initiative, gaining access to vital educational resources, telemedicine services, and other digital platforms at reasonable costs.
Apart from revenue diversification and improved internet connectivity, the Smart Poles project contributes valuable insights to Kenya Power’s broader objective of fully automating the grid. Automation offers numerous advantages, including enhanced system efficiency and improved customer service. Kenya Power has already made significant progress in this direction by automating medium voltage line switches in the Nairobi metropolitan counties of Kajiado, Kiambu, and Machakos.
Furthermore, the implementation of the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) project has played a crucial role in safeguarding revenue and ensuring accurate meter readings. The installation of smart meters in small and medium-sized enterprise premises, along with the establishment of meter data control centres, has resulted in increased sales, timely billing, and reduced energy pilferage.