Safaricom enters Kenya's digital TV space

by Elayne Wangalwa 0

As the world prepares for the June 2015 digital migration, Kenya continues to see new entrants into the digital migration space.

The latest entrant is telco firm, Safaricom which recently announced impressive results for its full year earnings in 2014.

The telco giant officially joined the digital television market on Friday. Talks of the telecommunications firm starting up a television wing were rife for the past two years.

“Our vision is to enable a differentiated broadband internet solution that will enable our subscribers to harness the power of the internet to watch new and exciting content from anywhere in the world in the comfort of their homes,” Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said during the launch of their set top box.

Christened the ‘Big Box’, Safaricom said it will provide subscribers with over 30 free to air channels for the Kenyan market. It is billed to retail from 55 US dollars to about 110 US dollars. However, the anchor is on data provision relying on the telco’s 3- and 4G networks which it has invested heavily on.

(READ MORE: The woes in Kenya’s digital migration process)

“This market is only possible through your continued investment in building a robust data network which can support the provision of data heavy services to our subscribers. The ‘big box’ is inspired by our continued focus to democratise data use across all segments of society,” Collymore noted.

During its full year financial report release in Nairobi, the management of the firm had underscored the potential that lies on the non-voice service provision. The big box therefore will serve to add to their services in this cluster as it seeks to extend its hold in the Kenyan voice and data market.

The listed telco expects to exploit the untapped demand in the home broadband market and this is further expected to boost the firm’s earnings. Safaricom hopes to reach 75 per cent of households that have access to digital television sets. These analysts see a good move for the telco.

“I am definitely buying the set top box. Safaricom entering into the digital space will see the firm register impressive performance going forward,” Odhiambo Ramogi of Elim Consulting said.