In an interview between Safaricom’s CEO Bob Collymore and news agency Reuters on Friday 27th January, 2017, he revealed that the telecom company will reallocate funds to build up its fixed-data network to connect homes to the Internet. Bob Collymore claimed that the move was driven by growing local demand to download and/or stream content online.
This follows the recent launch of renowned streaming services, namely Netflix, ShowMax and Amazon Prime Video, into the Kenyan local market. Currently, the fixed-data market segment in Kenya is dominated by Wananchi Group with their Zuku triple play service. Jamii Telecom is another entrant that is focused on fixed-data network to homes.
“We have been a bit lazy in growing our data business.
The big investment is in fibre. We are certainly putting more in fibre than we thought we would do … It is a change in priorities.
That is a cheaper way of delivering the data requirements of homes because ideally you want to have unlimited data.
We want to give people solutions they can use to access a Netflix movie or a ShowMax movie, not just on the TV, on Tablet or on phone.”
-Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore via Reuters
Bob Collymore went ahead to add that the company’s investments in the fixed data network were a reallocation of its budget and would not add to its planned capital expenditure of Ksh.32 billion in its current financial year that ends in March. According to Collymore, Safaricom has so far connected 6,000 homes to its new fixed-data network, using fibre and poles.
This comes even after the telecom paid Ksh.2.53 billion as license fee for high-speed 4G Internet spectrum earlier in the month. The licence now allows Safaricom to go ahead and extend its 4G coverage across the country after running a trial phase within restricted geographical areas as expected by the regulator, Communications Authority of Kenya.
The recent sector report from the Communications Authority of Kenya also revealed that Safaricom’s market share in the mobile data/Internet subscriptions stood at 63.2 percent in the quarter ending September 2016