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Kenya's Safaricom to invest $95m in Fibre-Optics

by wireworld on 09/07/2012 - 06:22 pm

Tag: Projects

Kenya's top telecoms operator Safaricom said it would spend about eight-billion shillings over the next four years to lay down 2 300 km of fibre-optic cable and support a rising customer base.



CE Bob Collymore said the company, which is highly dependent on fibre for voice and internet services, would finance the investment internally.



Safaricom, 40% owned by Britain's Vodafone, already has 600 km of fibre, and will start adding another 800 km from November, Collymore said. That should be completed within 18 months.



"In the next 3 years, we will be working on extending the footprint by up to 500 km per year. With future demand for higher bandwidth, the expansion will continue in the future," Collymore said.  "We anticipate the cost to be about two-billion shillings a year."



Kenya's mobile operators are racing to extend their network coverage across the country to keep up with the growing number of subscribers, up 16% in the first quarter of this year to 29-million users compared with the same period last year.



Internet usage grew by 69% to 6.5-million subscribers.  Safaricom commands a 67% market share in east Africa's biggest economy with 19.1-million subscribers and 70% of Internet users.