Safaricom lures home Internet customers with speed packages

Pedestrians walk past a mobile phone care centre operated by Safaricom in the central business ...
Pedestrians walk past a mobile phone care centre operated by Safaricom in the central business district of Kenya's capital Nairobi, May 11, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

Listed telecom operator Safaricom has introduced four packages for its Internet to homes offering as it makes an aggressive play to grow its market share.

Safaricom which runs the fiber to home service is taking on its more established rivals with payment packages to lure customers.

In the new strategy, Safaricom will charge Sh2,500 for bandwidth of 5 megabits per second (Mbps) and in the bronze package and Sh9,999 for 40Mbps speeds for platinum customers.

The move comes barely a month after Jamii Telecom launched an aggressive bid to shake up the market by increasing speeds to its customers while maintaining costs.

Safaricom currently has 95,000 homes connected to its fibre infrastructure.

The fibre to home service has been concentrated within Nairobi, with Safaricom keen to roll it out in other parts of the country.

Safaricom regional sales and operation director Steve Okeyo said there has been increased demand for Internet services with the teleco positioning itself to be the preferred provider of choice.

“Our plan is to ensure that every customer that needs fibre connectivity at their homes across the country can access it affordably,” Mr Okeyo said.

The first phase of the Safaricom fibre to home will start with Kitengela town and its environs, targeting 14,000 homes with a plan to reach 40 percent penetration within the next three months.

Other towns that are targeted in this phase include Athi River, Buruburu, Ngong Road, Runda, Ruaka and Karen.

Safaricom has scrapped installation and router charges in an effort of luring customers.

The firm will offer 10Mbps speeds at Sh3,499 and 20Mbps at Sh4,999.

The home internet service has traditionally been dominated by Jamii Telecom with its Faiba brand, Wananchi Group’s Zuku, Telkom Kenya and Liquid Telecom.

Kenya’s Internet penetration stands at 64.8 percent with telecom service providers increasing investment in fibre connections over the past few years.

Data consumers have been driving up demand for faster data services with penetration of video streaming sites such as Netflix, Amazon and Showmax.

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