Safaricom invests US$ 332.2m on equipment modernization amid surge in voice, data demand

KENYA – East Africa’s telecom giant Safaricom says it has spent US $332.2 million in the 2020 financial year to modernize its equipment in its quest to meet the surge in demand for voice and data triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

Speaking during the launch of its Sustainable Business report, Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Peter Ndegwa said the company has expanded its reach in the country through 2,284 additional base transceiver stations and added 2,300 kilometres of fibre optic cable.

Ndegwa also announced that the company has rolled out sites including 4G enabled sites with plans of concluding its trials of 5G-enabled sites during the current financial year.

The CEO also revealed that the firm has made good progress in terms of residential homes fibre connections, passing additional 42,105 houses and connecting 34,238 homes to the network.

As a result, Safaricom has connected over 142,000 homes and 11,911 businesses to its fibre optic network to date.

“Our plan is to continue our aggressive rollout of fibre connectivity to support remote working, learning and general connectivity; because our economy depends on it

Peter Ndegwa – CEO Safaricom

The latest data by the Communications Authority of Kenya reveals that Safaricom has maintained the lead in mobile data subscriptions at 68.7 percent as well as that of fixed data subscriptions at 33.5 percent.

In the calendar year 2020, Safaricom maintained the lead market share at 68.7 percent with a 4.9 percent quarter on quarter increase in mobile subscriptions on its network.

During the period under review, the telco also displaced Wananchi Telecom on fixed data subscriptions growing by 11.6 percent, boosted by the directive to work and study remotely.

Wananchi had held the lead on fixed data over the decade except for quarter three of 2019 when Safaricom dethroned it.

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