16 March 2008

Kenya: Phone Firms And Police in Deal On Kits

Nairobi — The two mobile telephone companies in the country may underwrite the Sh6 billion new police communications system, the Sunday Nation has established.

Safaricom and Celtel, together with the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), are expected to fund the police system so that some broadband frequencies can be made available to them.

The CCK assistant director for communications and public relations, Mr Mutua Muthusi, confirmed their involvement in the efforts by police to acquire a new state-of-the-art communications system.

He was, however, non-committal on whether the two companies would fund the police communications system.

"The Commission and licensed telecommunications service providers have been working together with the police for the establishment of a communications system with varied services of law enforcement," Mr Muthusi said.

The CCK assistant director gave some of the law enforcement services as including public safety and emergency response communication, unified national security telecommunications network and CCTV for vigilance in the Central Business District in Nairobi.

"In all of these services, substantial amount of spectrum resource is required and coordination of telecommunication activities with all the players is, therefore, essential," he said.

Recently, the Sunday Nation revealed the move by police to acquire a new communications system that would link police, fire brigade, hospitals and ambulance services through a command centre in case of disasters or emergencies.

The system would also enhance police operations in dealing with car-jackings, movement of people and overall management of police resources, especially vehicles.

A senior manager at Safaricom has been incorporated as a member of the police Command and Control Project Committee. Celtel also confirmed their involvement in the project.

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