The End is near for Most ISPs as Swift Global shuts down
According to Cio.co.ke Liquid Telecom is shutting down Swift Global.
“Liquid Telecom is shutting down Swift Global. This comes after acquisition of the firm in late 2012 as part of its acquisition of Altech’s assets in East Africa. The firm has reportedly sent letters to about 85 employees notifying them of termination of their employment. The firm’s clients will be merged into Swift Global sister company, KDN”.
There are two ways to look at this. One is, this is the normal tech companies’ bad tendency of acquiring the upcoming startups and then shutting them down after a few months or years. We have seen that happen to many promising startups around the world and may be Africa has now caught the bug. Unfortunately I don’t think that is the case here which brings me to the second possible scenario. The bad shape of Kenyan ISPs….
The reality is many Kenyan ISPs are in trouble and it is just a matter of time before we see them shutting down unless they change the way they do things. Kenya has unique consumers and unless understand them fully like Safaricom did, they will keep on slipping away. In the case of ISPs, they are facing a problem of their own making. When the fiber cable landed in Kenya, they all promised that the internet prices will come down to affordable level to common man and woman but that has never happen so far. One would understand the problem they are facing with the last mile connection thing but even with that I still think it is stupid not share resources to sort out the issue. For example Instead of Jamii Telkom laying cables in the same street as AccessKenya and Wananchi Online, they should just simply zone out the city, lay the cables on their respective areas and share the pipes
The mobile network operators like Safaricom, Orange will continue to take over the space selling data bundles. The more network operators improve their signal to different regions of this country the more the iSPs will lose out. For a consumer, it is easy to buy a modern of Ksh.2000 and buy bundles whenever one wants to access the internet. Compare that with a situation where ISP tell you to pay to Ksh.15000, for the connection and then you have to pay in the excess of Ksh.4000 every month with a threat of disconnection if you don’t pay in time. On top of that they are not able to connect most places with high population like Eastleigh because of resources in laying the cables. Even those who are willing to be their clients can not help them sometime!!!