The landing of four fibre-optic international submarine cables in Kenya, ending its dependency on limited and expensive satellite bandwidth, has revolutionised the country’s internet and broadband sector. Kenyas international internet bandwidth increased more than fifty-fold and wholesale prices have fallen by more than 90%, finally taking the internet to the mass market.
Companies that started out as ISPs – such as AccessKenya, Kenya Data Networks and Wananchi – have transformed themselves into second-tier telcos by rolling out national and metropolitan fibre backbones and wireless broadband access networks, offering converged voice, data and video/entertainment services. However, the infrastructure investments have been costly and the market has become more competitive, which has led to takeovers in the sector.
At least six major deployments of WiMAX technology and four Fibre to the Home (FttH) rollouts are underway, and third generation (3G) mobile broadband services have been launched. Advanced services such as IPTV/triple-play, e-commerce, e-learning and e-government are now rapidly evolving.
Takeovers in the second-tier telco sector;
Four separate Fibre to the Home (FttH) deployments;
International internet bandwidth has grown more than fifty-fold in three years;
Broadband retail prices have not yet fallen as much as wholesale prices.
Companies covered in this report:
Telkom Kenya (Orange, France Telecom); Kenya Data Networks (KDN); Jamii Telecom; SimbaNet; Africa Online (Telkom SA); Access Kenya (Dimension Data); Wananchi Online; MTN Business Kenya (UUNet); Swift Global; Internet Solutions Kenya (InterConnect); Safaricom (IGO Wireless, OneCom); Gilat Satellite Networks; Afsat Communications; Inmarsat; Indigo Telecom (Thuraya); Nation TV (NTV); KenTV; Liquid Telecom.