Kenya’s Safaricom to invest $95 million in fibre

Kenya’s Safaricom to invest $95 million in fibre

Kenyan operator Safaricom is reportedly planning to invest approximately $94.8 million over the next four years to lay 2,300km of fibre-optic cable to support its rising subscriber base.

The investment will be financed internally, according to Safaricom CEO, Bob Collymore, who was speaking to Reuters.

Safaricom’s network, consisting of 600km of fibre, will be increased by 800km from November in an expansion that is set to be completed within 18 months.

"In the next three years, we will be working on extending the footprint by up to 500km per year. With future demand for higher bandwidth, the expansion will continue in the future," Collymore told the newswire.

The cost of the project will be approximately $23.71 million per year.

As with many African countries, Kenya’s mobile operators are extending their network coverage to cater for subscriber growth, which is up 16.7% in the last 12 months. Population penetration for wireless services is still only estimated at 66.8%, leaving a significant market for operators to address.

Safaricom was originally a state-owned monopoly until Vodafone acquired a 40% stake in the operator in 2000. The company accounted for approximately 70.8% of Kenya’s 27.3 million wireless subscribers in June, according to TeleGeography.

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