22 Jan 2021
Nairobi, January 22, 2021: The technology pilot with Loon will be coming to an end on March 1, 2021. This news comes following the announcement that Loon LLC is being wound down as a company, globally.
The intent of the Loon technology pilot was to help bridge the digital divide through the provision of 4G/LTE coverage using floating cell towers, in areas that were difficult to access and connect via terrestrial solutions, as well as in areas that were not commercially viable for service providers.
Loon’s CEO, Alastair WESTGARTH says:
“Loon would not have been possible without a community of innovators and risk takers who were willing to take a chance on us and build something the world has never seen before. While we’re sad to share that Loon’s journey is coming to an end, we are grateful to the Telkom team for their vision and partnership.”
Loon will continue to provide service with Telkom in Kenya until March 1, this year. Over the coming months, the Loon team will work closely with Telkom to ensure the operations of the technology’s pilot service are wrapped up safely and smoothly.
Telkom Kenya’s CEO, Mr. Mugo KIBATI says:
“Telkom believes in taking bold decisions. It was very exciting therefore, to partner with like-minded pioneers in the adoption and usage of innovative technologies such as Loon, with the aim of filling in the Internet access gaps in areas that were difficult to service. Their vision – to connect unconnected and under-connected communities by inventing and integrating audacious technologies – sat well with our mission, to provide the best value for a simpler life, efficient business and stronger communities.
Mr. KIBATI adds:
“Telkom remains cognisant of the integral role our core terrestrial network plays in keeping our customers connected. We continue with our long-term terrestrial network expansion plan, that is informed by our overall company strategy, which will see us scale up to 80% of our network to 4G, increase our network footprint across the country, and get more Kenyans online.”
Telkom connects the people that keeps Kenya on the move. It does this by providing integrated telecommunications solutions to individuals, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), Government and large corporates in Kenya, drawing from a diverse solutions suite that includes voice, data, mobile money as well as network services. Powered by its vast fibre optic infrastructure, it is also a major provider of wholesale carrier-to-carrier traffic, within the country and the region.
Telkom is building on strong, consumer-centric ethos that is committed to providing innovative, accessible and refreshingly simple communications solutions that suit customers’ everyday communication needs.
Established as a telecommunications operator in April 1999, Telkom is 60 per cent owned by Helios Investment Partners, with the remaining stake held by Kenyans through the Government of Kenya. Telkom has 4,150 km of terrestrial fibre cabling, serving as a key conduit for broadband connectivity, inland. Telkom Kenya also owns a 23% stake in TEAMS, a 5,000km undersea fibre optic cable through Fujairah, UAE; a 10% stake in LION2 another 2,700km undersea fibre optic cable through Mauritius. It also owns a 2.6% stake in the East African Submarine System Cable and manages the National Optic Fibre Backbone, an inland fibre optic cable network running through Kenyan counties. The arrival of DARE 1 with Telkom as the landing partner further reinforces its role in the management of the National Optic Fibre Backbone.
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