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VENTURES AFRICA – East African telecommunication giant Safaricom has launched a Sh3.4 billion ($40 million) project dubbed “Safaricom Digital City”, which will see it connect five major cities and towns in Kenya to its recently built fibre optic network.
Speaking on the new investment, Safaricom’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Mr Nzioka Waita said the digital city project has been put in place to roll out high quality fibre in five major cities and towns in Kenya, adding that the Nairobi metropolitan “Safaricom Digital City Project covers commercial and industrial areas in the entire Nairobi Metropolitan area.”
He explained that the digital city would be a key driver of one of Safaricom’s core business goals of growing the enterprise segment with a particular focus on the SME segment, by leveraging its investments in connectivity and data storage .
According to Waita, “The enterprise segment is still nascent in Kenya … through this fibre, we will be able to offer our enterprise customers high quality solution that will guarantee them faster speeds and a more reliable service at a cost effective price.”
“We will be targeting as many buildings as possible. We will start off in Nairobi before rolling out to the other towns as we expand the reach of our metro-fibre,” Waita added.
Last week, Safaricom which hopes to attract SMEs through its connectivity project, told developers in Nairobi’s Westlands area to connect their commercial buildings to its fibre network for free.
However, a report from Standard media said businesses operating from these buildings will pay for the use of connectivity services offered by the telco.
Safaricom is now on the second phase of the rollout, targeting laying a further 300 kilometres in the Nairobi area.
So far, the firm has laid over 600 kilometres of fibre in Nairobi and its environs, including Rongai, Kitengela, Ngong, Kiambu, Ruiru and Athi River. By January next year, it plans to start laying cable for similar networks in four other major towns across the country including Kisumu, Eldoret, and Mombasa.