Tatu City gets telco licence for internet services

Lifestyle Heights, a residential development that is part of Tatu City, Kiambu. PHOTO | POOL

Tatu City has received a telecom operating licence to provide internet services to businesses and residents within its housing project.

The licence classifies Tatu Telecom Company as a network facilities provider (NFP) Tier 2 and application service provider (ASP).

This allows the firm to lease its fibre-optic cables to other internet service providers while competing with them to provide web services to customers.

The internet market in the country, burgeoning in mobile data usage, is currently dominated by players such as Safaricom, Jamii Telecoms, Telkom Kenya, Kenya Data Networks,  AccessKenya, Essar Telecoms and Wananchi Group.

“We have laid 13.9km of fibre optic cable and intend to lay another 29.4km by the end of 2022,” said Alex Kahu, the Head of Utilities, Tatu City.

“We are confident in our infrastructure and are leveraging on it to accommodate all major internet service providers in Tatu City,” added Mr Kahu.

The 5,000-acre Tatu City land in Kiambu is earmarked for mixed-use development consisting of residential, commercial and industrial amenities.

Mr Kahu said Tatu Telecom currently provides internet services to about 250 residential and commercial customers, including schools.

The entire Tatu City project, which has been the subject of bitter ownership wrangles, is expected to cost over Sh350 billion. So far, the firm says it has invested about Sh25 billion in infrastructure and development, including 135MVA power substation, 30km of tarmacked roads and five million litres of water storage.

Currently, the city has more than 60 local, regional, and multinational businesses that have set up or started development.

Tatu City is Kenya’s first operational Special Economic Zone, where companies enjoy low corporate taxes, zero-rated Value Added Tax (VAT) and import duty exemptions, among other benefits.

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