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Safaricom (Finally?) Starts Offering Fiber To The Home (FTTH) Broadband Internet Services In Nairobi’s Nyayo Embakasi Estate

Well. This was unexpected! I just stumbled on this blog post which seems to authoritatively confirm that Safaricom has finally launched Fiber To The Home (FTTH) Internet services in Kenya. This has been a long time coming and it seems they are just getting started within the expansive Nyayo Embakasi Estate in Nairobi. The ‘[email protected]’ Internet service according to the blog post will be 5Mbps of bandwidth with a free WIFI router for an impressively low price of Kes. 2,999.00 per month. Even better is that Safaricom does NOT have set-up charges for making the incentive to sign-up quite mouth watering, whichever way you look at it. In addition, according to the blog post, Safaricom will give one month free for those who sign-up so the first two months of access will cost approximately Kes. 1,500 per month (are you kidding me?!).

I recently did a blog post here comparing the Faiba 5Mbps service to the Zuku 8Mbps. Their prices are significantly higher with Faiba offering 5Mbps at Kes. 5,000.00 per month plus set-up fees whereas Zuku is offering 10Mbps for Kes. 4,000.00 per month which includes cable TV and a fixed phone line service, plus set-up fees. Now, the caveat is that Safaricom seems to be using a peripheral strategy by targetting Embakasi where Zuku or Faiba may not yet be operational and therefore will be well placed to win that market, rather than targeting their well established strongholds like Parklands, Westlands, Kileleshwa, Karen, etc.  The costs involved in rolling out fiber networks are substantial so better to go where there is limited or no competition which is a perfect strategy for Safaricom.

One has to wonder if Safaricom is using the roll-out of its home Internet service as a trojan horse for other value-added offerings? What comes to me as top of mind could be that of cable TV. Its been rumoured for the last couple of years or so that Safaricom intends to enter the cable TV business so as to offer a triple play propoosition in the same vein as Zuku. It would be a stroke of genius should they go in this direction and possibly partner with Multichoice’s DSTV to stream their broadcast content – which they already do on their mobile streaming service. Alternatively, they could very well offer a competing proposition to DSTV with on-demand content like movies and live sports with a ‘pay as you go’ pricing model. Given that M-Pesa has effectively become the currency of choice for over 18 million mobile users in Kenya, Safaricom would be able to instantly integrate a suitable payment channel for on-demand streaming video content. This model is already working wonders for Netflix globally and could be replicated by Safaricom in Kenya.

Going forward, I would hate to be Zuku or Faiba right now since Safaricom has finally fired their salvo in the battle for Kenya’s fiber-based home Internet services space. The truth is that Safaricom has over the last 5 years or so forced a good number of consumer-focussed Internet Service Providers (ISPs) out of business thanks to their 3G service. Safaricom is also in effect the largest ISP in Kenya with millions of customers thanks to their mobile Internet offerings that actually work really well. Therefore, from this perspective, its going to be a challenge for the likes of Zuku and Faiba to keep them at bay given the precedence. Not to overuse the phrase but Safaricom could once again disrupt the status quo.

 

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14 Comments

  1. […] post first appeared on Moses Kemibaro’s […]

  2. […] Moses Kemibaro, an opinion maker in the Kenyan Tech Scene, argues that Safaricom may be warming up to enter the Cable TV business. […]

  3. Steve
    July 30, 2014 at 10:32 am — Reply

    I’m glad to see that Safaricom is making it easier for Kenyans to access the Internet. However I can’t find any information on this package at Safaricom’s website.If there is one, can you please provide a link?
    Great article btw, keep them coming!

    • July 30, 2014 at 6:19 pm — Reply

      @steve your question is the same one I asked myself when looking to verify the same offer with Safaricom’s website. Its NOT there! However, the information is accurate.

  4. Brian
    July 31, 2014 at 7:00 pm — Reply

    Lucky folks in Embakasi. As a loyal Safaricom WiMAX service subscriber, I hope they can roll this out city/country wide very soon. Got excited when I saw them last year digging up the streets nearby

  5. […] post first appeared on Moses Kemibaro’s […]

  6. […] post first appeared on Moses Kemibaro’s […]

  7. October 17, 2014 at 10:39 am — Reply

    Now that it’s approx 5 months after the article, is there any progress on this and is their internet unlimited or has data caps after clocking say 20gb?

    • October 31, 2014 at 12:45 pm — Reply

      @Cris I do not know what the developments have been since they started to-date. Have you checked the website for any additional info?

  8. February 18, 2016 at 6:55 pm — Reply

    3K / per month for Internet is insane .. Heavy users of daily home Internet are freelancers who also happen to be students . This the main customers of zuku home Internet . 1Mbps is enough to even stream as long as you don’t have more than 2 computers and believe me students will always be the number one consumers of Internet so safcom should lower there prices even if it means lowering their bandwidth , Ksh 1000 for 2Mbs is fair.

    Also i doubt safcom will win this market anyway. Zuku is very well established and takes care of its customers unlike what safaricom did when it monopolized the market and no longer cared for us since it knew it had us hooked !! The new business is Internet and safaricom failed to see this early, its too late. And for M-pesa main business of safcom , e-commerce is coming catching up too fast in Kenya , safcom will now attract heavy international competitors in online payments gateways and its awesome. i HOPE SAFCOM DIES / INVESTORS SUFFER HEAVY LOSES… or they get humbled and restructure how to do business , don’t arm-twist people .

  9. Abdirahman
    November 6, 2016 at 12:26 pm — Reply

    Am Abdirahman living in kakuma .turkana west of Kenya. I would like to install my wifi at home and share it with my community members. Therefore I would like to know what is required to setup my Wi-Fi and I will connect to Mobile phones and charge them per month. Thank you.

  10. Kolia
    January 7, 2017 at 8:09 am — Reply

    Hey Moses, great article, quite useful. When are zuku arriving in Kisumu?

    • January 8, 2017 at 12:19 pm — Reply

      @kolia I have no idea. Please prompt them on their Facebook page.

    • January 29, 2017 at 8:36 pm — Reply

      @kolia I have no idea. I will find out from them.

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