More than 19 million Kenyans are subscribed to internet/data service in Kenya. The number grows every day and tech companies are working towards connecting the whole world into one village. One year ago, Liquid Telkom rolled its rural fibre optic project which connects county headquarters, sub-counties and wards to the central government. These initiatives are welcome as more and more people get access to cheap Internet especially in developing countries like Kenya.
In the spirit to grow the economy, Safaricom has connected 6,047 homes and plans to connect 2,000 more homes to its Safaricom fibre optic network by the end of the year. The company wishes to place reliance on Internet related communication besides voice.
“We intend to increase our customer base on fibre to homes to 8,000 by the end of the year as well as enhance fixed calling, cloud and managed services,” Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said.
Safaricom is on a mission to connect more people by expanding the 2,328 kilometers of the cable network it has rolled out in 10 towns to reach home Internet users, commercial buildings and public sectors.
Ideally, Safaricom wants to out compete its rivals Jamii Telecoms, Liquid Telecoms, Wananchi and Telkom Kenya by connecting more homes in the country. However, Wanachnic dominates the market followed a distant second with Jamii Telecom’s with 7,486 customers connected to its fibre infrastructure of more 4,000 kilometres across the country, Telkom Kenya on the other hand has 4,500km of fibre optic network connection across the country and Access Kenya 350 kilometres.
In Nairobi, Safaricom connected a number of buildings by linking them to the Safaricom fibre programme. “As a building owner, this is an opportunity to maximise the value of your buildings while adding an invaluable resource to their rental offering. The connection of fiber presents the chance to transform your building into a smart building that draws tenants who can then partner with service providers for specific services. Willing customers can therefore have the fiber connection terminated into their offices at an agreed upon rate. The solution will enable the connection of services like Business Plus and OneConnect that require fiber connection.” Safaricom wrote.
Mobile data on the other end is growing very fast and service providers are capitalizing on it. Communications Authority of Kenya released a report that showed a growth in the data market. The authority registered an increase of 5.9 per cent in internet/data subscriptions to stand at 19.9 million. The number is by a huge margin complemented by Safaricom’s internet penetration across the country. The company has the largest number of mobile data/internet subscriptions at 12.5 million representing 63 per cent market share.