Published On: Tue, Nov 12th, 2013

Safaricom to provide free broadband for Schools

SAFCOMKenyan mobile operator, Safaricom will provide free broadband to public primary schools in Kenya, if the government will provide it with the required frequency spectrum, said the company’s CEO, Bob Collymore.

The proposed free broadband initiative, which is in line with the East African country’s One Laptop Per Child project and Safaricom’s rollout of government-supplied laptop computers to learners, was confirmed by the company’s CEO during the announcement of the the company’s H1 profit.

The CEO said Safaricom will expand its laptop programme by including free broadband for Kenyan schools.

“As part of our commitment to democratise access to affordable broadband in Kenya, we have requested the government of Kenya to allocate to Safaricom additional spectrum resources to facilitate the nationwide rollout of a 4G or LTE networks over the next 24 months.”

“In consideration of this we are prepared to provide free broadband access to all public primary schools identified as part of the government’s laptop initiative,” Collymore added.

Safaricom wants government and regulators to allocate additional spectrum frequency resources to facilitate nationwide LTE or 4G rollout as it plans to launch its 4G network by 2015.

The telecom operator’s Chairman, Nicholas Ng’anga’a said the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) has agreed to renew the country’s operating license by 10 years.

Meanwhile, the mobile service provider also confirmed plans to invest between Sh26 billion ($305 m) and Sh27 billion ($316m) in the next six months, to improve network infrastructure, after it announced a 45 percent increase in H1 profit.

According to the company, its SMS service grew by 45 percent, mobile data by 43 percent, while its popular mobile money platform, M-Pesa grew by 20 percent.

Total revenue also rose by 17 percent to stand at Sh69.2 billion up from Sh59.1 billion in the last half year profit.

“Our M-PESA agents’ outlets grew by 73 percent in the period to 78,856 while voice revenue grew by 12 percent on the back of growing customer base which now stands 20.8 billion,” CEO, Bob Collymore said. Adding that the company expects free cash flow to be in the range Sh20 billion to Sh21 billion in the full year results.
Ventures Africa

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