Safaricom connects 30,000 more homes to fibre Internet in six months

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Safaricom #ticker:SCOM connected an additional 30,000 houses to its home fibre network and doubled its coverage to more than 200,000 households during the first half of its financial year.

The telco’s half-year report also show it laid out more than 5,500 kilometres of fibre optic cable, an additional 500 kilometres when compared to the previous first-half of the year.

This also saw it increase its fibre coverage by 400 to pass by 2,000 businesses. The latest statistics indicate that Safaricom has so far connected 171,000 homes with fibre internet.

The firm reported that fixed data, one of Safaricom’s latest business ventures, earned it Sh3.9 billion revenue, representing 21 per cent year-on-year growth.

“We maintained great momentum in our fixed service business, connecting an additional 30,000 homes in H1 (first half of the year) and more than doubling our coverage year on year,” said Safaricom chief executive officer Bob Collymore at the company’s half-year performance briefing last Friday.

Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) data indicates that Safaricom currently holds the largest market share.

The latest regulator data indicate that Safaricom’s fixed data market share grew from 19.4 percent in the first quarter to 21.2 percent on the back of an addition of 14,537 fixed internet subscribers between March and June (quarter four) 2018 to hit a total of 78,104 users.

Zuku parent firm Wananchi Group Kenya, which is billed as the biggest fixed internet provider in the country, market share for the period to June 2018 dropped to 30.4 percent compared to 34.4 percent as at March this year. The firm, however, is still the market leader with 112,155 subscribers after growing its subscriber number by 438.

Mawingu Networks Ltd, an affordable internet service in which tech giant Microsoft has a 10 per cent stake, has 21.1 percent market share according to sector statistics while Jamii Telecommunications Ltd has 11.8 percent market share.

The trend comes as Safaricom and Mawingu expand their service coverage amid ongoing shareholder wrangles at Wananchi Group, which spearheaded the ISP business in Kenya almost two decades ago.

Safaricom has been making strides into Kenya’s living rooms over the past few years, expanding its presence beyond the mobile phone. The service is driven by the growing subscription of on-demand services like Iflix and Netflix.

The telco’s home fibre Internet network currently covers over six towns countrywide and has reached more than 20 estates within Nairobi. The service is also available in Mombasa’s Nyali and Bamburi neighbourhoods, parts of Kisumu, Eldoret and Thika towns.