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Fibre optic cables driving affordable connectivity in Kenya – R&M

Fibre optic cables driving affordable connectivity in Kenya – R&M

Kenya's telecommunications market continues to undergo considerable changes in the wake of increased competition, improved international connectivity, and rapid developments in the mobile market, according to Research & Markets.

The landing of four fibre-optic international submarine cables in recent years dramatically reduced the cost of phone calls and internet access, allowing internet services to be affordable to a far greater proportion of the population. In parallel, the sector's regulator has reduced interconnection tariffs and implemented a range of regulations aimed at developing further competition.

The incumbent fixed-line telco has struggled to make headway in this market, prompting reorganisation in 2018 which included a sale and leaseback arrangement with its mobile tower portfolio. In early 2019 the company signed a merger agreement with Airtel Kenya in which Telkom will retain a 49% share in the merged business which will provide a greater challenge to the market dominance of Safaricom.

Numerous competitors are rolling out national and metropolitan fibre backbone networks and wireless access networks to deliver services to population centres across the country. Several fibre infrastructure sharing agreements have been forged, and as a result, the number of fibre broadband connections increased 94% in the year to September 2018.

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