Safaricom Plans Fiber Optic Network Expansion

Kenyan Telecommunication service provider Safaricom Ltd plans to expand its mobile and fiber optic network. Safaricom will launch high speed broadband services to the homes to boost company’s growth. There is a growing demand for high speed broadband services from Kenyan subscribers, which the provider can translate into business. Safaricom had posted 17 percent rise in its annual earnings.

Reuters reports that the earnings of the operator before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose to 71.2 billion shillings ($748.7 million) in the year ended March, lifted by a 13 percent rise in revenue to 163.4 billion shillings.
Safaricom, whose capital expenditure rose 21 percent to 33.7 billion shillings, plans to expand its 3G network to cover 80 percent of the population from 69 percent at present.

The company also plans to deploy faster 4G services to 13 more towns by December 2015. Currently only two towns have 4G services. Safaricom realizes that only fiber optic networks can handle the growth in data traffic and hence wants to deploy more fiber optic cables in these towns to support its ambitious plans. connections to 10 more towns.

Safaricom would launch set-top boxes which will receive TV and data services using 4G. Effectively it provides broadband access to the Kenyan home.

Safaricom is 40 percent owned by Britain’s Vodafone Group PLC and expects free cashflow of 25-26 billion shillings from 27.5 billion last financial year. Its voice service revenue rose 4 percent to 87.4 billion shillings, while that from money transfer service M-Pesa was up 23 percent to 32.6 billion. Mobile data services revenue was up 59 percent to 14.82 billion shillings and that from short message services jumped 15 percent to 15.6 billion.

Safaricom, Ltd is a leading mobile network operator in Kenya. It was formed in 1997 as a fully owned subsidiary of Telkom Kenya. In May 2000, Vodafone Group Plc of the United Kingdom acquired a 40% stake and management responsibility for the company.

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Author: Prakash

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