More telcos could join Safaricom in digital content


Kenya's market is waiting in anticipation for the newest set top box by telecom company, Safaricom that is set to revolutionise the industry by offering long term evolution (LTE) and video on demand services in the East African nation.

However, it appears that more telecom companies might be contemplating the same move.

A source from Orange Telkom Kenya said that it is hard for telecom companies to maintain one service and survive and so diversity in products is the key to drive growth.

Danson Njue, an analyst with Ovum Research said that more companies will be starting to offer other content services as they diversify their offerings.

“Safaricom is aiming to provide set top boxes but really the key thing is to provide broadband services and their aim is to grow their fixed broadband market,” Njue said during a presentation at the East Africa Com in Nairobi, Kenya.

“This is something that we feel that other operators might want to try because the digital migration is taking place in this region. We expect other operators to try to venture into this space,” he added.

Russell Southwood, an analyst with Balancing Act told ITWeb Africa in an earlier interview that, “In 5-10 years everything (including voice) will be data. So there will be no mobile companies as we currently know them, only data companies.”

The growth of smartphone penetration and increase in access to internet connectivity will see content providers opt to have other avenues to sell their products.

Such moves have been seen with MTN in South Africa when they launched their video on demand service, FrontRow, in December last year. MTN also partnered with Summview this year to provide on demand content in Ivory Coast.