NAIROBI — Kenya Civil Aviation Authority has authorized the deployment of Google loon balloons in the Kenyan airspace to provide 4G internet access across the country in partnership with Telkom.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday said this was to enable Kenyans to access internet as they work from home.
“These balloons will carry 4G base station and have the capacity to provide wider signal coverage,” said President Kenyatta.
He said the approval was in line with Government’s measures to respond to the disruptions caused by the global Coronavirus pandemic that has seen many people work from home to avoid contracting the respiratory illness.
“In that regard, and to foster communication and enable Kenyans to retain and enhance remote access to the Offices and Enterprises, My Administration has granted approvals that will ensure universal 4G Data Coverage throughout Kenya,” he added.
According to President Kenyatta, this new development will enable Kenya to retain her competitive advantages in ICT and innovation in the midst of the current crisis; while at the same time laying the foundation for greater expansion once the current health challenge is contained.
Mr. Kenyatta said Telkom Kenya and Google have been testing the 4G data network and will roll out the commercial service as soon as the balloons are available in the Kenyan airspace.
“Once inaugurated, this service will extend Telkom Kenya’s 4G network to areas that currently are not covered by any of our mobile network providers,” the President said.
Africa Tembelea understands that, the service will also boost online learning as it will allow teachers and students to access education materials remotely.
While citing the recently set up telemedicine centre for Coronavirus detection at Kenyatta National Hospital, the President said Kenyans should be proud of their country’s pole position in technology and innovations.