The President of the Republic of Kenya, His Excellency, Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, has addressed he nation during the occasion of unveiling the approval and licensing of Google Loon Service to enable universal 4G coverage in Kenya at State House, Nairobi on 23rd March, 2020.
In recognition of the extra-ordinary nature of the Covid-19 global health challenge that has gripped the world, the president said that his administration continues to roll out a raft of measures to mitigate the disruptions to our life arising from the pandemic.
In that regard, and to foster communication and enable Kenyans to retain and enhance remote access to the Offices and Enterprises, he said that his administration has granted approvals that will ensure universal 4G Data Coverage throughout Kenya.
“I am pleased to announce that the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), has signed an agreement with Google Loon that allows Loon Balloons to fly over Kenyan Airspace. These balloons, which will hover well above our commercial airspace, carry 4G base stations and have the capacity to provide wider signal coverage.”, said the President.
This intervention will enable Kenya to retain her competitive advantages in ICT and innovation in the midst of the current crisis; while at the same time laying the foundations for greater expansion once the current health challenge is contained.
Additionally, this development will also enable Telkom Kenya Ltd (TKL) and Google Loon to start the commercial rollout of a 4G data network in the Country as soon as the balloons are available on the Kenyan airspace. The two companies have been testing this service for the last two years.
Once inaugurated, this service will extend Telkom Kenya’s 4G network to areas that currently are not covered by any of our mobile network providers. Therefore, all Kenyans, wherever they are in the Country, will enjoy access to high-speed and affordable internet services.
The president further said,” I note the gesture by Google Loon and Telkom to offer their 4G service to support our efforts in surveillance and management of Coronavirus infections. This will go a long way in containing the present health challenge.”
The access to these services is expected that it will keep Kenyans connected to emergency services and to their loved ones, whether isolated or in quarantine, or whether working from home or at the usual workplaces.
“Equally, this service will also enable teachers and students to access education materials remotely, especially in this challenging time; thus, enabling our students to continue learning from home. “, said Uhuru.
“As you are all aware, My Administration has developed and is implementing a comprehensive lessons program for our learners to access while safe within their homes. “, the President insisted.
The Google Loon and Telkom Kenya partnership allows learners in every corner of the country to continue learning through access to soft copy education materials and assignments.
Finally, the president took the opportunity, on behalf of the Kenyan people, to thank Google Loon for offering this service, initially without levying any charges.