Safaricom looks to IPTV for new revenue stream

Rebecca Hawkes | 16-11-2013

Kenya’s leading mobile operator Safaricom plans to launch bundled television and internet services within a year.

The telecommunications company plans to aggregate content and deliver on-demand viewing for its customers across a range of connected devices.

It expects to deliver a range of television channels and the online video platform YouTube, chief executive Bob Collymore has said.

“So things like streaming of internet protocol television, looking at video on demand, balancing the types of content and understanding local market needs are part of the project,” Collymore told the Daily Nation.

Safaricom also plans to boost high speed internet connectivity in Kenya by deploying more fourth generation (4G) mobile infrastructure to facilitate video streaming.

The telco has recorded 30% growth in the past financial year on non-voice services – in particular through data and its mobile money service M-Pesa. Revenue from voice services is on a downward trend due to strong competition in the country.

By launching an IPTV service, Safaricom will provide competition to regional pay-TV broadcaster Wananchi with its Zuku triple play service, and South Africa’s MultiChoice with its DStv satellite TV platform.