Safaricom To Venture Into Fiber To The Home As Cable Content Provider

Smart Home

Safaricom has already laid out 770 kilometers of fiber cable within Kenya with 640 ongoing, Nairobi takes the bulk of this. The 640 km that is ongoing according to Safaricom will go to other big towns, Nairobi, Nakuru, Mombasa and Kisumu. They have laid it out in quite many estates within Nairobi, but that does not equate to them providing fiber cable to the homes yet. Mobile data consumers will have to use modems or expensive WIMAX for some time if they are to rely on Safaricom as their Internet service provider. This is due to the plan where Safaricom does not want to go in with just Internet as the service running on the cable.

“We are currently only focusing on enterprise fiber connection at the moment and have connected 110 buildings with fiber cable so far in Kenya,” said Bob Collymore, Safaricom CEO at a recent press conference. Collymore added that it doesn’t make much sense at the moment to delve into fiber to the home as an empty pipe.  The company is currently responding to enterprise customers and setting them up free if they use Safaricom services which include  internet connectivity, unified communications for voice and data, cloud services, hosted PABX , integrated IT offerings among others.

Nothing much under content and services that they would sell to the home consumers. Evidently Safaricom doesn’t consider fiber to the consumer quite competitive to run on its own as a service. Thus the idea to wait till they either have developed or licensed content that they can channel through the fiber cables.

“We are not going to connect our fiber to home consumers as a dumb pipe, we will venture in when we have content to accompany it, watch this space closely,” said Nzioka Waita, Safaricom Corporate Affairs Director.

Safaricom has previously had partnerships with content channels like DStv where they bill to provide access to mobile apps subscription and it’s services like these and others like personal cloud that would make Safaricom get into Kenyan homes via fiber cable. Especially local content which is quite hard to come by while at the same time in so much demand by the existing satellite and terrestrial TV channels.