Liquid Telecom reaches 3,933 Nairobi homes on fibre Internet


Liquid Telecom Kenya chief executive Ben Roberts. PHOTO | FILE

Liquid Telecom Kenya says it has covered 3,933 homes with its fibre Internet network in the company’s bid to sign up more retail customers.

Traditionally, Liquid Telecom has concentrated its efforts on the wholesale business, selling capacity to mobile network operators, Internet service providers, financial institutions and businesses.

In the retail space, the company faces stiff competition from some of these wholesale clients. The fibre-to-the-home business in Kenya is dominated by companies such as Safaricom, Jamii Telecom through its Faiba brand and Wananchi Group’s Zuku.

The company, owned by the UK-based Liquid Telecom Group, launched its retail Internet brand Hai in February as part of a Sh200 million investment in its fibre-to-the-home business. The company now says it is targeting 10,000 homes on the Hai network by March 2017.

The telco is also leveraging its satellite network to sign up more residential subscribers on its Hai service.

“We also have satellite packages to enable Kenyans to have Hai. It’s designed to be accessible at all locations,” said Liquid Telecom Kenya chief executive Ben Roberts in a statement.

Most of the homes covered by Liquid Telecom so far are in high and upper-middle income neighbourhoods in Nairobi including Runda, Rosslyn Ridge and Magnolia Hills.

Previously Mr Roberts had indicated that the company plans to veer from these “saturated” affluent neighbourhoods into more underserved middle-income areas of the city.

Safaricom indicates that it has connected 16,000 homes with fibre network while Jamii Telecom says it has passed 100,000 homes across the country.

Demand for connectivity is expected to rise as Kenyans consume more data heavy products and with entry of online video content providers such as Netflix and Showmax into the Kenyan market.

“Connectivity needs to be universal. We will provide the pipe then the over the top content providers will come and ride on that,” said Jamii Telecom general manager John Kamau.

Liquid Telecom’s Hai network is also available in Rwanda and Zambia. The company’s foray into the retail market has also included the launch of a sports television channel, Kwese, which airs limited showings of English Premier League matches.