Telkom Kenya 4G


Safaricom uses 900Mhz for 3G.


Got it. Thanks. What about Telkom?


Yes, they all use the 2100 for 3G. They also use the 900 for 3G in certain areas,mostly rural areas. Safaricom, Airtel both use the 900 for 3G. The 900 offers better coverage-they don’t have to set up many base stations only to cover a few families who may not even spend that much. Techweez wrote the Airtel upgrade.See article below.

The way i normally tell is to use my old Huawei modem-E220. That modem was one of the early modems to be used with 2100 networks(and i guess the 850 in other countries). That meant that when operators in Kenya started using the 900 for 3G, that modem was incompatible. If i place my Telkom line in the modem i get a very weak signal(the 2100 signal). If i use my phone, which supports 3G on the 900, i get a very strong signal. This happens with both Safariocm and Airtel.

I’ve also asked some Telkom customer reps and they confirmed that in some areas they are using the 900 for 3G. I had to ask like 4 customer reps to be sure.


Thanks for the clarification - I’ll update the post. Now I see why it’s so difficult for these companies to make accurate coverage maps.


Lower frequencies offer very good coverage. I’m trying to locate the cell tower in use(on Telkom) with some app and also with this website . The website is saying i’m using a cell tower(s) in Toll(Ruiru). The phone keeps switching between that tower and another at Juja. That’s at least 10km from where i am. You can’t get that kind of coverage with the 2100MHz. Although i do have to mention cellular triangulation at times are not very accurate especially where you don’t have many cell sites. For Safaricom it was very accurate since the cell tower is only a a few hundred metres from where i am.


Triangulation by cell towers needs at least 3 to work so if your area has too few towers for your device to ping then you’re out of luck. There’s an app called 4G WiFi Maps & Speed Test by open signal on the play store. It uses GPS and has a vast database of cell towers. Give it a try and see the cell towers around you.


I wasn’t trying to locate myself but trying to get the distance from where i was and the tower i was connected to(to make the point about coverage). I took the readings(LAC and CID) directly from the phone.


I was trying to help you out with that. The app knows exactly where all cell towers are located and it can show you in real-time which one you are connected to. It also shows you in real-time the exact distance from you to the cell tower (it uses GPS for that). It also has a map that shows all the cell towers nearby (for your SIM card’s network) even ones you aren’t using.


I know Telkom also offers 3G on 1800MHz band,
Btw was going through some CDs and came across this throwback., back then we used this to connect our PC to the net through the Telkom Wireless CDMA desktop phone. I remember setting the drivers up for the first time with @Lukirdem back then n speeds were 28.8kbps n we were like WoW! :joy::joy:


In another 10 years you will be saying the same for the 4G,Aah man remember when we used to struggle with 4G pathetic 150mbps,already we are not doing the wired Ethernet wiring in the construction industry, tech is moving quick


An amazing throw back. I normally used my phone as a dial up modem. I remember accessing the mail and Google and it was so amazing to do it. Must be around 2008 there.


For sure man tech is moving so fast, na vile 5G is almost here


I see the 4G modems are available at the shops, for those who were looking


Last weekend, I ordered a similar unlocked modem from Aliexpress. Had wanted to get the Telkom one but wasn’t sure if it’s locked to Telkom.


Sadly the bigger router with thev4k, 50GB Fup at 1mbps is going for 10k and it is not portable, but that deal is sweet for those far from fibre.


TELKOM 4G MOBILE WI-FI - Early Impressions

So I’ve had the Telkom 4G Mobile Wi-Fi for about a week now (took a while to get one because the initial orders were sold out EVERYWHERE) which i bought from the Sarit Centre Telkom Shop.

Price: 5,999/- (up from 5,499/- because, as the sales rep explains it, ‘‘This one’s 4G’’ so we charge more :unamused: )

Bundle - Complimentary 10GB (New Users Only) valid for 30 Days.

When you buy a new line, customer care asks if you wish to have it formatted for mobile (07x) or modem (020). Your choice determine which bundles you get.

To switch from 020 to 07x, visit a telkom shop and replace your line, opting for the prefix youd like. Switching will forfeit whatever unused bundles you had left

What’s in the box

The setup is quite straight forward:

  1. Flip the router and note down the instructions on the back
  2. Power the router by holding down the Huawei button for 3 seconds (there is only one button on the entire device)
  3. The lights fash green then the network light progresses from red to orange to full green showing a stable connection.

From here you can go three ways:

Option 1

  1. Plug the router into the computer. Wait for the drivers to install.
  2. On windows, Open ‘My Computer’ to see the modem icon. Right/Double click to ‘autorun’
  3. This will launch your browser straight to the modem’s login page
  4. Default username: admin
  5. Default password: admin

Option 2

  1. Logon to the router console by connecting to the WiFi SSID (wifi name)
  2. Then type the default IP address that was written at the back of the router (apparently it’s the same for all such telkom routers)
  3. Default username: admin
  4. Default password: admin

Or, if you have your smartphone (like almost everyone)

Option 3

  1. Logon to the router console by connecting to the WiFi SSID (wifi name)
  2. Scan the barcode on the back of the box to download the huawei HiLink APP
  3. Launch the app and it will autodetect the network.
  4. Login with the same username and password as in option 1

Both options will prompt you to change your password at the first successful login.

Now you can customize the wifi network name and password to something more suitable (within allowed security parameters eg 8 character password, non-repeating and unique)

Renaming the WiFi will reboot the router and you’ll have to reconnect to the wifi using the new name and password.

Now, for the reason most of you are still reading:

Speed Tests

Using the Samsung Galaxy S8+, I did two tests, one in the CBD where 4G was available & the other on 3G at the outskirts of Nairobi, 10Km from the border with Eastern Province.

4G Results (Multiple Test Average) Top Floor at the office along Kenyatta Avenue

3G Results (MultipleTest Average) 10KM off the Nairobi-Machakos County Line

On Google Chrome Desktop, the average speeds achieved were half of whatever the mobile speeds were in each test - 12Mbps Up/Down on 4G, 5Mbps Up/Down on 3G.

I hope such speeds hold up once more people join the network. Shall test again in 3 months.

Download Speeds

Internet Download Manager @ 32 Connections while on 4G in an office on Kenyatta Avenue

Single Link Download on Google Chrome while on 4G in an office on Kenyatta Avenue

Battery Life & Performance

The device is rated 4G (150Mbps) on 2.4Ghz 802.11n network which out of the box can 'safely support upto 16 Wi-Fi devices simultaneously’

This number is significant, because most modern smartphones can only support upto 8 simultaneous devices

The battery is rated at 1500 mAh so estimate about 5 hours of low to moderate use per charge & can be fully charged in 1 hr; or 2hrs when on and in use. The indicator on the app is the most useful (the web one is almost useless) as it shows both percentage and estimated time before depletion.

This still has some challenges like:

Only showing quartile markers i.e 0, 25, 50, 100%

No low battery warning - at 25% - only one when it’s at critical - 0%

Doesn’t show a counter when charging, it simply says charging. This means you have to unplug it to know what percentage it’s on.

Number inconsistency - 50% battery says you have 3Hr 9Min vs 25% at 1Hr 3Min

Battery usage varies WIDELY depending on:

  • Network Type & Strength
  • Number of Devices Connected
  • Data being Consumed

I hope these get fixed with future software updates

Some APP Features

Supports Wi-Fi extender mode (extend other weak wifi signals, eliminating deadzones)

Supports sharing of files wirelessly when connected to the same network

Apparently supports Sending and receiving messages - Received Telkom PROMO messages but no response when we send messages to 222

On mobile phone

Supports Device Renaming (with built in suggestions)

You can set your Monthly data limit complete with thresholds (both on the mobile app and web). This will also allow you to approximately track which app uses how much data

When you reach/exceed your set threshold, a push notification is sent to your mobile app

You can view and manage which devices are connected (both web and mobile app)

Airtime & Renewing Bundles

Officially, this is how Telkom says you should renew bundles

As of writing this, isn’t working (on this device via Chrome)

The old method however, - - still works on both Chrome & Microsoft Edge (as of writing this)

I shall keep using it & update if there is any new notable information. Meanwhile @martingicheru could get someone from Telkom down here to comment on this.

>FAQ - Updated as questions are asked

UPDATE 1 - 21:09 02/07/2017


The device is DEFINITELY locked.
If you attempt to use a non-Telkom simcard it registers as card invalid or no card found and you are prompted with the following:

The devices network notification light remains a strong RED

To resume normal operations, simply return the Telkom simcard into the modem.


So the 5,999/- modem can use the home plan bundles?
I discovered that the site goes through if you open it on incognito mode in chrome.


Just curious. Is this thing unlocked???


nice review, is it locked to telkom?


It’s not really the modem that uses them but the line. When you buy a new line, customer care asks if you wish to have it formatted for mobile (07x) or modem (020). Your choice determine which bundles you get.

To switch from 020 to 07x, visit a telkom shop and replace your line, opting for the prefix youd like. Switching will forfeit whatever unused bundles you had left.