Access Kenya to spend Kshs 120 million to expand fibre network in 2013


 

Access Kenya technicians conduct repair work on their underground cable infrastructure. The firm plans to spend Kshs 120 million to expand its fibre infrastructure in 2013.

AccessKenya Group has announced plans to continue pushing for fibre connectivity uptake in the next financial year so as to deliver a better broadband experience to its customers, a move that will see the firm spend Kshs 120 million in 2013 to expand its fibre network.

Access Kenya managing director Kris Senanu says the company has seen merits of delivering reliable connectivity through the fibre optic cable and is considering more investment of over Kshs 120 million in 2013 towards deploying fibre solutions to the corporate sector in Kenya.

“We continue to sign up clients onto our fibre network and our expansion is entirely demand – driven. This not only underscores the need for strategic investment in the deployment of fibre technologies, but also signals the maturity of the Kenyan market in internet usage and consumption,” said Senanu.

According to Mr. Senanu, the increase in the uptake of fibre among the Kenyan corporate and high-end residential clients has driven the AccessKenya’s turnaround strategy that has seen the company’s returns grow over time. He also noted that the company is keen on product diversification and enhanced customer service so as to firm its grip on market share.

The firm’s expansion plans come at a time when the industry has seen a  significant increase in the numbers of fixed internet subscriptions, which have rose by 81.7 percent in the second quarter of 2012 compared to last year. The current internet subscriptions in the country stand at 7.7 million up from 4.2 million in 2011. This, according to service providers is a healthy sign of competitive service positioning put forth by both mobile service providers and the traditional ISPs.

Mr. Senanu noted that, going by the latest Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) statistics, internet subscription is on a steady rise, albeit driven by mobile internet. This, according to Senanu is bound to drive the appetite for unlimited broadband that can only be delivered through fibre optic cable connectivity. From the statistics, fibre subscription has grown by a steady 26.7 percent to reach close to 50, 000 subscriptions up from 22,000 in the same period last year.

“ISPs have repeatedly faced the question: are mobile service providers eating your lunch? Well, we have said this before that the more people access the internet through their mobile phone devices, the more the need for dedicated broadband that is only possible through fixed connectivity,” explained Mr. Senanu.

Early this year, AccessKenya embarked on an aggressive network expansion program and has spent in excess of Kshs 100 Million that has seen the national fibre footprint extend to over 400 Kms in Nairobi and Mombasa. The company has also opened offices in Kisumu and Nakuru to serve its growing clientele in western and rift valley regions ahead of the actualization the county system of governance.