Airtel’s Kenyan and Sri Lankan units are bolstering their coverage via 5G upgrades and new site deployments respectively.
Airtel Kenya has already installed 5G upgrades at 600 sites across three main locations – Nairobi, Malindi and Mombasa.
Local outlet Business Daily quoted the operator’s Managing Director Prasanta Das Sarma as saying: “These 600 sites are now 5G-ready. We don’t have to make any further modifications to the network. We will just get the spectrum and decide when to switch on.”
The operator expects its commercial launch to take place within the next two years, by which time 5G devices will become more affordable and therefore widespread in the market.
Meanwhile, CommsUpdate reports that Airtel Lanka is deploying 37 new cell sites across Ratnapura, the provincial capital of Sabaragamuwa Province. The deployment is part of the first phase of a regulatory initiative aimed at connecting “dark spots” on the island nation.
Sri Lanka’s regulator, the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL), has launched the Gamata Sanniwedanaya project in a bid to bridge the country’s digital divide and connect all Sri Lankans.
Airtel CEO and managing director, Ashish Chandra, said of the project: ‘Airtel’s mission is centred on enriching lives for all Sri Lankans. With [connectivity] expanding to cover every facet of daily life at an exponential rate, it is essential and empowering to ensure that reliable mobile connectivity is available to all our citizens. We are therefore proud to partner with TRCSL on this vital and visionary initiative’.