In 2015, Kenya Power announced it was considering venturing into the internet business. The company was to rely on its extensive distribution footprint to actualize the plan. With an already established customer base, payment infrastructure, the plan seemed plausible. The power distributor has now announced it will partner with Safaricom to launch the services which it will undertake through its subsidiary Kenya Power International.
The two firms have since signed an agreement stating they will collaborate in a pilot fibre optic project targeting more than 12,000 homes in a 12-month pilot to be carried out in residential areas in and around Nairobi. Through the partnership, Safaricom will lease broadband infrastructure owned by Kenya Power in the roll out of its last mile network. Kenya Power already owns and operates more than 4,000km in length of fibre optic cable network in Kenya, which it leases to the major telecom players in the country. Safaricom has to date rolled out 3,200km of fibre reaching 7,000 homes and has been looking to expand into this segment which the partnership provides.
Last year, the telco and power distributor partnered to launch a product referred as Okoa Stima. Okoa Stima is a credit facility that allows customers to borrow any amount based on a pre-determined credit limit based on the customer’s relationship with Kenya Power. The loan is charged a facilitation fee of 10% and is payable in 7 days. The launch of Okoa Stima was one of the many partnerships between the telco and power distributor which begun in 2009. In 2009, Kenya Power begun allowing its customers to pay their electricity bills through Safaricom’s mobile money service M-pesa. Kenya power customers are charged a fee of Kshs. 10 for power bills between Sh100 to Sh10, 000 and a fee of Sh25 for bills between Kshs 10,001 and Kshs 35,000 settled via M-pesa.