On Thursday, June 8, Kenya Power announced the commencement of the installation of specialized utility smart poles in different residential areas of Nairobi. The purpose of the poles is to facilitate and enhance high-speed internet connectivity within these estates.
Speaking at the Kenya Power Grid Conference, Managing Director and CEO, Joseph Siror, said these innovative poles will offer telecommunications companies an alternative method for deploying last-mile data networks, utilizing wireless technologies. The project is expected to enhance connectivity and improve access to reliable internet services.
“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.
The pilot project is currently underway through a collaborative effort between Kenya Power and Safaricom.
“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,” said Siror.
Upon the successful completion of the pilot phase, Kenya Power intends to proceed with the installation of smart poles throughout its existing overhead network.
“The Company has put in place a strategy that lays a firm foundation for growth in the next century. We will leverage sustainable solutions to ensure that we have a smart grid in place while at the same time offering excellent service to our customers,” the MD said.
Siror also noted that Kenya Power is actively engaging in discussions with the Ministry of ICT to establish a framework that enables the company to contribute to the government’s digital economy agenda.
As part of the plan, Kenya Power aims to extend its infrastructure to facilitate affordable internet connectivity in public institutions, including schools and hospitals.
“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 said.