Safaricom internet expansion gets Kenya Power connection boost

Kenya Power has partnered with Safaricom to deploy home internet on the back bone of specialized Kenya Power infrastructure that will see the electricity distributor install smart poles to distribute high-speed internet connectivity.

The electricity company that owns countrywide distribution infrastructure and wayleaves is eyeing the last mile data networks as a revenue diversification strategy.

Kenya Power boss Dr Joseph Siror said they will deploy the last mile data networks using wireless technologies, thus providing a solution to telecom service providers to improve data coverage and capacity, as well as the challenge of signal dropouts.

Fiber networks has mostly spread in cities where there has been a critical mass to justify rolling out fibre networks with most areas of the country lacking the infrastructure to join the internet bandwagon. 

To capture this demand Safaricom even introduced the 4G wifi router that allows for people who don’t have fiber connectivity to connect seamlessly to the internet. It also allows for a substitute connectivity for people who are constantly on the move and want a reliable and safe internet connection to be able to move around with their router.

Safaricom which entered the fibre fray in 2014 Safaricom has the widest 4G coverage in the country relative to any player in the market and so customers can be assured of connectivity and great speeds at affordable prices.

Read also: Why local currency power deals will not bring down electricity cost

The telcos slashed prices on its routers to encourage uptake reducing the initial cost of joining their network via the Adrian router from Kes9,999 to Kes5,999  and HUAWEI router from  Kes10,999 to Kes6,999. Each router comes with 30GB free data welcome bundle for 30 days.

The rise in internet demand has seen Telcos battle it out to connect homes and businesses to cheap reliable connections including Safaricom, Zuku, Jamii Telkom and Starlink.

The telecommunication companies have spent billions connecting thousands of homes to fixed-data network, using fibre and poles leased out from Kenya Power which in 2022 also expressed interest in launching rival internet services.

The government of  President William Ruto has also promised to build digital infrastructure that will provide free WiFi at 25,000 hotspots across the country that is expected to give online retail a boost even as the government expands the new digital services tax that will capture this growing industry.

A cabinet memo revealed the seminal project would feature laying of over 100,000 kiometers of fibre optic cables across Kenya and establishment of digital village smart hubs and studios in each of the country’s 1450 wards.

Kenya Power says it also hopes to play a role in the government digital project by leveraging their network at a cheap cost.

‘’Apart from the pilot for smart poles the company is also in discussion with the ministry of ICT to develop a framework through which we will play a critical role in the realization of the government’s digital economy agenda. With our wide network and fiber capacity, we intend to provide infrastructure for internet connectivity targeting public institutions such as schools and hospitals at a favorable cost,’’ Mr Siror said.

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