Safaricom deploys 400G to support increased demand for mobile and data fibre in its network

Huawei Kenya CEO Stone He (left) and Safaricom Chief Technology officer Thibaud Rerolle (right) cuts a ribbon during the launch of TubeStar Base at Clay Works Thika Road

Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) on Wednesday announced the deployment of 400G network link at the Mobile World Congress (MWAC) show in Barcelona, Spain. This makes its network among the first in the world to commercially deploy the solution.

“The 400G solution will support the continued growth of our network which is being driven by an explosion in internet usage. Mobile data usage on our network has been doubling year-on-year while our fibre network now reaches more than 220,000 homes and 17,000 businesses across more than ten towns. It was therefore prudent to invest in the latest network technology to ensure that we can support the demand from our customers for years to come,” said Thibaud Rerolle, Chief Technology Officer – Safaricom.

Supported by Huawei, the high capacity link will quadruple the company’s capacity to carry internet traffic over 500 kilometres. The link will achieve a speed of up to 400 Gigabits per second, an upgrade from the previous connection which offered speeds of 100 Gbps.

In the two years to September 2018, Safaricom experienced a four-fold growth in average data usage per customer which went from 160 Megabytes per customer per month to 640 Megabytes per customer per month.

The 400G standard was approved in December 2017 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, paving the way for network equipment suppliers and operators to begin deploying equipment that officially conforms to the standard.