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Safaricom announces new TubeStar base station

Safaricom announces new TubeStar base station

Safaricom has launched a new base station technology, TubeStar, developed by Chinese multinational ICT firm Huawei and designed to extend the reach of the telco's urban network.

In a statement Safaricom explained that the base station occupies 75% less space than the traditional base station making it easier to offer services in urban settlement where land allocation is usually a challenge.

"In addition, the TubeStar eliminates the need for a compound and perimeter wall around the base station by incorporating all equipment within the tower structure," the company added.

In 2017, during the launch of the partnership to establish and roll out base station technology, Huawei said the infrastructure solves three pain points for telecom companies: high urban macro site deployment cost, difficult site acquisition, and poor deployment efficiency.

The company added that telecom companies no longer require a dedicated tower, cabinet and equipment room for each site.

This also helps to make site approvals easier and quicker due to the small footprint needed for one station, Huawei stated.

Thibaud Rerolle, Chief Technology Officer, Safaricom, said, "Ultimately, our goal has been to provide our customers with world-class connectivity and networks. The TubeStar base station is the latest such innovation and will enable us meet the emerging demands of Kenya's fast-paced urban environments."

The technology also utilises high performance lithium batteries which significantly reduces the need for diesel generators and is more environmentally friendly.

"The first TubeStar has been deployed at Clay Works along the Nairobi - Thika Highway and will offer coverage along the Roysambu drift which has long been plagued by call drops," Safaricom added.

The telco confirmed that there are plans to roll out and deploy the technology at other sites.

Safaricom plans to spend Kshs 38 billion in the current year to March 2019 on further network infrastructure upgrades.

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