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Orange Kenya partners with ZTE for 3G rollout

France Telecom has officially changed its name to Orange

Orange will partner with ZTE to roll out its 3G network in Kenya. The investment, valued at €33m, will see Orange launching services in the first half of this year as part of the telco’s drive to double its subscriber base to more than 4.5 million in 2011. Orange is currently the third-largest operator in Kenya, well behind market leader Safaricom, which claims a massive 77 per cent share of the market through its almost 17 million subscribers and is currently the only commercial 3G service provider in that country.

Orange owns a 51 per cent stake in Telkom Kenya. The new network will see 1500 ZTE base stations installed across the country over the next two months, with the initial focus being on the major cities of Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu. Rollout is expected to be completed by the end of May, with the official commercial launch of services following in June this year. The telco acquired its 3G license – the country’s third – for $10m in November last year. ZTE, meanwhile, beat off rival bids from Huawei, Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent to install the new 3G network .

East Africa Com takes place April 5-6 in Kenya. Speakers include John Barorot, CTO, Safaricom

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