Safaricom buys extra capacity in undersea cable
05 December 2013, 09:46
Nairobi - Kenya's top telecoms operator
Safaricom has bought extra capacity on an undersea
fibre-optic cable, the company announced Wednesday, underscoring its
need for more bandwidth as it expands in the fast-growing data
Safaricom is the most heavily traded stock on the Nairobi Stock Exchange, frequently accounting for two thirds of daily traded
volumes, and investors watch its non-voice services keenly
because they account for just over a third of revenue.
The East African Marine Systems (TEAMS) cable, which links
Kenya to the outside world through the United Arab Emirates, is
partly owned by the Kenyan government and its landing in 2009
speeded up Internet connections in the country.
Chief Executive Bob Collymore told Reuters the capacity
purchase, which gives the firm which is partly owned by
Britain's Vodafone an extra 10 percent in the cable
above its original 20 percent shareholding, had been concluded
because "extra capacity can always be used".
Collymore said Safaricom had paid the same as the seller,
Essar Telecom's local unit Yu, had originally paid for it,
without providing the exact figure.
Data is one of the fast-growing segments for Safaricom,
accounting for 8 percent of total revenue of 5.47 billion
shillings ($63 million) in its first half through September.