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Safaricom connects buildings to fibre network

20 November 2013, 10:35

Nairobi - Safaricom outlined plans to connect commercial buildings to the fibre optic grid for free as the listed firm continues its ambitions to woo customers.

The company has started connecting buildings in Westlands area to its recently laid KES 8 billion fibre cable as it prepares for a national rollout of the service.

“We will start off in Nairobi before rolling out to the other towns as we expand the reach of our high quality metro-fibre,” said Waita Nzioka, Safaricom’s Director Corporate Affairs.

Telecom firms charge between KES 100,000 and KES 200,000 to connect buildings to their fibre networks and require office blocks to subscribe to a minimum average of four megabytes internet capacity.

The free connection is poised to help Safaricom win bulk customers in efforts by the Nairobi-bourse listed telco to reduce reliance on voice business, which accounted for 60.5 per cent of its KES 69.2 billion sales in the six months to June.

Safaricom controls more than three quarters of the mobile internet market share but expects that the strategy to connect commercial buildings to fibre to boost its performance in the lucrative fixed internet segment dominated by Wananchi Group.

Previously, Safaricom has been leasing fibre connection from other providers such as KDN, Access Kenya and Wananchi, denying it the competitive edge in pricing and guaranteeing quality of service, which are key demands in this market segment.

It now hopes to reverse this with its own fibre.

“The enterprise segment is still nascent in Kenya and the data demands of businesses today require high capacity bandwidth to deliver that content back to the core. However, factors relating to quality and reliability have made it necessary for us to lay our own infrastructure,” Nzioka added.

– CAJ News


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