Safaricom comes home

53,000 homes and counting as telco angles to meet growing demand for data and bridge the digital divide

12 May 2017 . 2,778 Views

Safaricom has created a home unit in its quest to bring the digital world closer to Kenyans and to play a key role in the growing home internet space.

While announcing the 2017 financial year results on May 10th, Bob Collymore, CEO, Safaricom said none of the company’s achievements would be possible without the their sustained focus on building a future proof network that partly focusses on connecting homes to high speed internet“Our core business remains to deliver first class connectivity for voice, SMS, data, MPESA, and deepen enterprise use of technology,” Collymore said during the announcement of the company’s full year results.

The telco has already connected 53,000 homes to its fibre network in what it views as the cheaper way of satisfying customer needs.

The company is hoping to encourage customers to use more data through value-added services and smart home technologies and the fibre connection delivers higher quality internet at cheaper prices.“

Every day, demand for more intelligent networks that can manage the shifting mobile landscape increase. Our customers want to do more, but spend less money,” said Collymore.

“This has prompted us to make certain changes to our strategic focus even as we continue building the nertwork that will build Kenya’s economy,” the CEO said.

Data from the Communication Authority says that the number of broadband subscriptions increased by 19.3 per cent to reach 6.3 million up from 5.3 million subscriptions recorded during the previous quarter marking a penetration level of 14.7 per cent.

There was heightened activity in the voice segment, which saw local mobile traffic increase significantly by 18.2 per cent to 10.8 billion minutes up from 9.2 billion minutes posted during the previous quarter. On average, each subscriber talked for 95.8 minutes per month during the quarter up from 84.9 minutes the previous quarter. This was catalyzed spent 35 by special offers and promotions carried out by the operators during the period.
Reaching these huge numbers requires massive investment.

“We spent 35 billion this year to build the most robust network in the region,” Collymore said.
Safaricom now has over 4,600 base stations on its networks covering 90 per cent of its population.
“We have also started delivering the network of the future through 4G and fiber,” Collymore said.
Kenyans of all walks of life are looking for affordable home internet that will allow them work reliably from home.

Safaricom, through the creation of a home unit, vows to deliver on these aspirations.

“We rolled out a record 1,100 4G stations in the year marking the most rapid rollout of base stations in this company’s history,” said Collymore. “Our purpose is to empower Kenyans to become better.”

And what makes Safaricom right for delivering internet and connectivity to our homes?

“We know we have the right mix of talent and technology to provide transformative innovation,” Collymore said at the function.

Safaricom has created a department charged with connecting residential houses to its fibre Internet. Chief executive Bob Collymore said at an investor briefing on Wednesday that the Home department would deliver fibre and other technologies to subscribers’ houses across the country.

“Our customers’ needs are changing. Demand will shift to more sophisticated use,” said Collymore.

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