NAIROBI, Feb. 13 -- Chinese telecommunication firm ZTE on Thursday said that it plans to tap into Kenya's fast growing telecom sector.
ZTE Kenya CEO Liu Sen told journalists in Nairobi that the telecom sector has revolutionized the east African nation's economy. "We will help Kenya to leverage the latest technology so as increase the population access to education and health," Liu said.
He said that Kenya is full of potential and has emerged as one of the regional economic hubs in Africa. "ZTE is therefore looking forward to seeking possibilities in deploying cutting edge technology such as the 4G network in Kenya," Liu said.
The CEO said that his firm has already deployed 75 commercial 4G networks globally and has conducted trials for another one hundred operators.
"The experiences we have gained from global operations will guide operations in Kenya," Liu said. The firm, which was founded in 1985, is listed on the Shenzhen and Hong Kong stock exchanges.
The company focuses on telecom operator services, government enterprise and mobile device sectors. The CEO said that the company dedicates over ten percent of its total revenue on Research and Development.
"For the past two years, ZTE has been the world's biggest originator of technical patents. We are also committed to the standardization of technology so that all systems are interoperable," Liu said.
The company has 18 RND centers spread across in China, Europe and America. "We are at advanced stages of establishing RND center in Africa," he said.
ZTE Kenya Deputy CEO Thomas Yang said that his firm is ready to bring more cost-effective Information Communication Technology solutions to both government and private enterprises.
"We would like to work with the Kenyan government so that the country attains world class excellence in ICT," Yang said. "Due to the cordial ties between Kenya and China, the Chinese government is always ready to offer financing for Kenyan projects, " he said.
The Deputy CEO said that Chinese firms have a huge competitive advantage over their western counterpart due to their low labor cost.
"In the past years, we have provided ICT solutions that have enabled the government to ensure efficiency and transparency in service delivery," Yang said.
ZTE Kenya Chief Technology Officer Leo Yu said that his firm will focus on technical skills transfer to Kenya through a raft of measures including offering professional training at the ZTE University in China.
Leo said that the firm sells smart phones that are customized for both low end and high end mobile subscribers. In terms of shipment ZTE is ranked as the number four handset provider globally.
ZTE Technical Manager Simon Muchoki said that firm has already laid 1200 km of optical fiber under the national fiber network project. Muchoki said that the firm is ready to assist Kenya to modernize its electricity grid.
"Our researchers have come up with a smart grid that will improve efficiency in the distribution of electricity," he said.
ZTE suggested Kenya accelerate the adoption of renewable energy in order to reduce its carbon foot print.