Companies

Safaricom creates unit to connect homes with Internet

collymore

Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore. FILE PHOTO | NMG

muthoki pics

Summary

  • Safaricom is hoping to encourage customers to use more data through value-added services and smart home technologies.
  • Smart home technologies include household appliances that are often connected to the Internet and can be controlled remotely via a phone or computer.

Safaricom #ticker:SCOM 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 Mr Collymore.

The telco said that it had passed its fibre infrastructure by 53,000 homes. The company is hoping to encourage customers to use more data through value-added services and smart home technologies.

Smart home technologies include household appliances that are often connected to the Internet and can be controlled remotely via a phone or computer.

While these devices are yet to catch on in Kenya, technology firms in the West are betting that their growth will come from smart personal assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa, and Internet-enabled smoke detectors, light bulbs or tea kettles.

Safaricom has over the past few years been making strides into Kenya’s living rooms, expanding its presence beyond the mobile phone.

The company in 2015 launched its Internet enabled set top box, The Big Box. It has also signed deals with video streaming services such as Showmax and Kwesé.