Wireless Transport Solution provider Aviat networks has been selected by Safaricom for its WTM 4800 multi-band radio platform for 5G backhaul. The partnership will allow Safaricom to roll out 5G networks in remote locations, where fiber and copper cable sites are not a viable option. The news comes in the backdrop of the recent Alphabet and Telkom’s loon launch, aiming to provide high-speed internet access to remote areas in Kenya.
Aviat will provide the spectrum equipment, which focuses on narrow beams that can deliver up to 10 Gbps over long distances. However, this will come with inadequate coverage. Nevertheless, Aviat Networks says that the WTM 4800 multi-band radio platform will lower microwave spectrum costs, which accounts for one of the largest total cost ownership costs (TCO).
“Microwave spectrum cost is one of the largest TCO (total cost of ownership) elements in many countries around the world, and as capacity demands grow with 5G, more spectrum is required. Aviat multi-band provides the lowest TCO for 5G backhaul, especially in countries, like Kenya, where the cost of microwave spectrum is high,” reads the statement.
Cheaper, Reliable 5G Connectivity
The Aviat equipment combines microwave (6-42 GHz) and E-band (70-80 GHz) over the same link and antennae. This will allow Safaricom to maintain low spectrum costs, offloading traffic between the expensive microwave spectrum onto the less expensive E-band without compromising reliability.
Speaking on the partnership, Aviat Networks CEO Pete Smith said, “We are excited to continue to expand our WTM 4800 multi-band deployments internationally. The pace of 5G rollouts is increasing, and we plan to leverage our differentiated capabilities to help customers deploy the lowest TCO backhaul possible.”
Last week, Google and Telkom launched 4G internet balloons in Baringo, making Kenya the first country to have loon base stations in her skies in Africa. The loon floating base stations provide extensive coverage compared to cell towers, using AI to navigate flight paths. The service looks to boost internet connectivity in rural Kenya, inadvertently growing e-commerce.
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