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Safaricom home Internet passes 90,000 houses

Safaricom chief finance officer Sateesh Kamath. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Safaricom chief finance officer Sateesh Kamath. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Safaricom #ticker:SCOM home fibre optic Internet has passed more than 90,000 households, a milestone that has enabled the telco to grow its residential network penetration to 27 per cent since its launch in February.

The firm has, however, only managed to connect 28,000 homes in 20 neighbourhoods in South B and Pangani in Nairobi as well as Ngong and Rongai in Kajiado. The home fibre Internet is also available in Nyali and Bamburi (Mombasa), parts of Kisumu, Eldoret and Thika towns.

Safaricom announced that it had content partnerships with video-on-demand companies Iflix and Showmax, and plans are in the pipeline to bring other players on board.

“We are excited about the possibilities in the home in the near future. We have now passed over 90,000 homes, nearly double what we had passed by the end of March due to an accelerated rollout plan,” said Safaricom chief finance officer Sateesh Kamath, currently also acting as the CEO.

“We have improved our conversion rate from 21 per cent in March to 27 per cent in September, and have a 50 conversion rate on homes passed a year ago,” said Kamath, who is also sitting in for chief executive Bob Collymore who has taken sick leave.

Latest data from Communications Authority of Kenya data shows that there were 54,700 fixed fibre optic subscriptions in June compared to 27,571 such connections recorded during a similar period in 2016. Internet penetration now stands at 64.8 per cent.

The fibre optic segment of the data business has seen increased investment from service providers over the past few years.

Fibre firm Jamii Telecom has increased five-fold the speeds it offers business and home customers, without raising prices.

Liquid Telecom recently re-entered the retail space and is counting on its Hai fibre brand to take it to Kenyan homes. Liquid says it has connected at least 3,000 homes to fibre Internet.

The growing number of subscription on-demand services such as Showmax Iflix and Netflix allowing people to stream live programmes in Kenya and more people opting to work from home has led to the increased demand for the Internet in residential buildings.

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