New Telkom Kenya CEO Mugo Kibati.

Telkom has recorded a 50% spike in data consumption on its network, following weeks of a significant increase in usage of its home products and other tailored data solutions.

This comes at a time when the national government and local health authorities have been urging Kenyans to stay home as a means of reducing the spread of COVID-19.

As a result, the company says more and more Kenyans are making the switch to working from home to observe social distancing regulations.

Chief executive Mugo Kibati says e-learning has contributed to the surge in the numbers.

“This is as a result of the increased number of users: business owners, employees, teachers, students, and other professionals, who must now minimize their movement but still meet their contractual, professional, business or educational obligations,” Kibati said in a statement.

Kibati also notes that the growth being seen on its network is most notable in residential areas that had not been initially dimensioned to support such unusually high traffic.

“To this end, and in light of the increased usage of data during this time, Telkom is already expediting a network optimisation and rebalancing exercise across the country, starting off with areas that we have identified needing immediate intervention,” he added.

Telkom is also in talks with several learning institutions to support their e-learning programmes. It launched the Soma na Telkom bundles, a monthly data package targeted at universities and colleges, to enable these institutions to continue teaching remotely.

Already, the telco is working with the University of Nairobi, the KCA University, USIU-Africa, and the Africa Digital Media Institute (ADMI), providing them with data offers and internet solutions, tailored to the needs of their faculty, staff and students, as more schools and institutions of higher learning adopt e-learning approaches.    

“We also keep on assessing the viability of alternative avenues to better enable our customers to go about their daily lives, cognizant of the need for them to stay at home as much as possible, during this time. We urge Kenyans to stay home and to stay safe, as we do our bit to keep them connected,” added Kibati.

Telkom also recently announced, that its partnership with Loon, the Alphabet Company working to bring balloon-powered Internet to Kenya, has received all regulatory and Cabinet approvals to begin flying balloons in Kenya.

Once the balloons are in place over the coming few weeks, this new technology will complement Telkom’s ongoing strategy to further widen its network coverage.     

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