Kenya: Mombasa to Malaba Fiber and Tower Network

The Wilken Group Limited (“the Wilken Group”) invites submission of qualifications and proposal data (collectively referred to as the “Proposal”) from interested U.S. firms that are qualified on the basis of experience and capability to execute a feasibility study (the “Study”) for the deployment of new fiber and tower infrastructure along the Meter Gauge Railway (the “Project”) from Mombasa to Malaba in Kenya. The new submission proposal deadline has been extended to 10 a.m. Eastern Time/5 p.m. East Africa Time on June 28, 2024.The U.S. firm selected will be paid in U.S. dollars from a $1,240,000 grant to the Wilken Group from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.

About the Grantee
The Wilken Group, founded in 1973, is one of the first privately owned telecommunications companies in Kenya. The company has built and developed strong relationships with various clients and suppliers, including U.S. companies L3Harris, Hughes Network Systems, and Motorola. The Wilken Group has played a major role in projects across East Africa for partners such as the United Nations, Lake Turkana Wind Power, the International Finance Corporation, and Safaricom, among others.

Project Background
The primary objective of the Project is to construct a wholesale open access fiber optic network and a series of 5G-capable towers along Kenya’s Meter Gauge Railway. The new 192-core fiber optic cable would be deployed across approximately 1,172 kilometers of railway, trenched 1.2 meters into the ground, between the cities of Mombasa and Malaba and would be leveraged to provide sufficient bandwidth to ISPs, MNOs, hyperscalers (i.e., cloud services providers), data centers, government institutions, private organizations, educational institutions, and communities located along the route. Additionally, the Wilken Group seeks to install 154 mobile towers of 30 to 80 meters in height in 19 towns along the route.

About the Study
The Study will assess the commercial and technical viability of deploying new fiber and tower infrastructure along the Meter Gauge Railway in Kenya. The Study will include a physical survey of the intended fiber route to inform deployment methods, indicate physical obstacles, and identify other risks. This entails site surveys to support mapping and identify locations that require special consideration. The Study will include a technical feasibility analysis for the fiber backbone; a market study to quantify and qualify demand, products, and pricing; an economic analysis; and a financing plan. Finally, the Study will include a U.S. sources of supply analysis, a development impact assessment, and a Project implementation plan. Overall, the Study will provide a clear assessment of the Project’s viability, including an implementation plan for the fiber route and a commercially optimal business strategy for deploying and operating its new fiber links as well as its access infrastructure.

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Kenya: Mombasa to Malaba Fiber and Tower Network

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