Jamii Telecom launches 4G network in Kenya under Faiba brand, first to offer VoLTE

Thursday 7 December 2017 | 10:31 CET | News

Jamii Telecom has launched a service called Faiba 4G Mobile, making it the fifth telecom operator to be licensed in the Kenya. It will operate under the prefix 0747 and will be the first to provide voice over LTE (VoLTE).  Faiba 4G Mobile will offer free voice calls, and will be able to do high definition voice and video after investing USD 50 million in its network infrastructure and successfully launched commercial trials.

The service includes mobile internet bundles that compete directly with current operators Safaricom, Airtel Kenya and Telkom Kenya. Faiba 4G has installed over 300 base stations across the country but aims to have 1,000 base stations in 36 months. The firm says its 4G network coverage is live in Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Eldoret, Kisumu and Thika and all its customers can get service at up to 72 Mbps.

Faiba 4G is selling a 1 GB data bundle valid for a day at KES 50 while KES 1,000 will get a customer 25 GB worth of data valid for 30 days. 

Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom had initially protested against Jamii Telecom getting an LTE frequency, arguing that the telecom regulator had indicated that this would be done through an industry-wide process. The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) said that the issuance was above board and that Jamii Telecom was expected to pay the full spectrum fees once the 4G pilot phase lapsed. 

Faiba 4G will be running on a 700 MHz spectrum and will offer customer free on-net calls as long as they have a valid data bundle. Customers can get free SIM cards or buy Mi-Fi at PhoneXpress. The expectation is that there will be an additional mobile money platform in Kenya because in July, Jamii Telecoms got trademarks for Faiba Money and Faiba Pay, which may be added services in the coming months or years.

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