Kenya Power, on Thursday, June 8, announced that it had begun installing special utility smart poles in various Nairobi estates to support high-speed internet connectivity.
Managing Director and CEO, Joseph Siror, stated that the move will allow telecommunications companies to use wireless technology to provide data.
The project will also eliminate the challenges of losing signals, ensuring a wider and more efficient data coverage.
“The Smart Poles will provide an alternative method of deploying last-mile data networks using wireless technologies, allowing telecom service providers to improve data coverage and capacity while addressing the issue of signal dropouts,” Siror explained.
Additionally, Kenya Power stated that the need for a solution to the increasing demand for internet in Nairobi and other parts of the country necessitated the move.
According to the power utility, the demand had pressured telecommunications service providers to expand their data network.
“The pilot project is currently being undertaken at six (undisclosed) locations within Nairobi, and once it is completed, Kenya Power will install smart poles within its overhead network, which telecom service providers will lease to mount their wireless transmission equipment.
"Kenya Power has established a strategy to lay a solid foundation for growth in the next century. We will use innovative and sustainable solutions to ensure that we have a smart grid to tap into new growth frontiers," added Siror.
Additionally, the power company stated that it was collaborating with the Ministry of ICT to develop strategies that ensured the government's goal of having a digital economy was realised.
The managing director stated that the plan would include providing infrastructure for internet connectivity in public institutions such as schools and hospitals at an affordable cost.
"Aside from revenue diversification, the smart poles project and partnership with the Ministry of ICT will provide the Company with valuable lessons in its quest to fully automate the grid," Siror noted.
Earlier on February 28, Kenya Power announced the introduction of a new technology that would allow customers to pay for their electricity bills in foreign currencies.
According to the company, the new system was prompted by the performance of the Kenyan shilling against the US dollar and other currencies.