Safaricom - 2020 Sustainable Business Report

45 INTRODUCTION OUR BUSINESS OUR MATERIAL TOPICS OUR STAKEHOLDERS CONCLUDING REMARKS Focus on VoLTE Long-Term Evolution (LTE) standards will remain the foundation for wireless broadband communication in many parts of the world for at least the next 10 years. We consider LTE an important stepping stone for Kenyan consumers migrating towards 5G-enabled services. The benefits of VoLTE include better voice clarity and quicker call set up (i.e. calls sound better and get connected quicker). We have more than one million VoLTE-enabled (voice over long-term evolution) phones connected to the network and aim to increase this significantly in the short- to medium-term through affordable handset campaigns, triple play offerings for fixed customers, redefined Hosted PBX services and by introducing supplementary VoLTE and VoBB (voice over broadband) services and solutions. Network availability and stability Network availability and stability is important because an unavailable or inaccessible network means that our customers experience is impacted and that they are unable to access our services and perform tasks. Network performance FY20 FY19 FY18 FY17 Avg. weekly unavailable minutes (power NUR) 11.9 6.5 4.6 4.8 Average radio access network SUR (minutes) 32.4 25.6 22.2 22.9 The most significant challenge to energy availability and, hence, the Network Unavailability Rate (NUR) remains unreliable power from the national grid. It was responsible for between 40 and 47 per cent of unavailable minutes across both macro and micro sites during the year. The increase in our Service Unavailability Rate (SUR) was caused by service disruptions during the modernising of sites in the Nairobi East and Coast regions. • We will continue our initiatives to improve the transmission capacity on the core network to guarantee excellent mobile data experiences in spite of the anticipated growth in data traffic. • We will continue the accelerated rollout of 4G services and 4G-enabled sites. Our target is to deploy an additional 1 400 4G-enabled sites in FY20, and, ultimately, to transition the entire network to 4G. • We plan to conclude our trials of 5G-enabled sites and commission 50 commercial sites during FY20. • We will continue our aggressive roll out of fibre connectivity to support remote working, learning and general connectivity. • We will continue to develop our customer experiences evaluation tool (CEM) and use automated analytics and insights proactively to improve the way customers experience the network. Looking ahead