Safaricom unveils decoder for Kenya's digital TV market

DetailsRebecca Hawkes | 11 May 2015

Kenyan telecommunications company Safaricom has launched a digital set-top box (STB) to enable access to television and video content via the Internet.

Called The Big Box, the decoder will serve as a Wi-Fi hotspot and connect up to ten users, as well as delivering 59 TV and radio channels.

"It will give you access to HD TV Channels and allow you to watch content through online video services like YouTube," said Bob Collymore, CEO, Safaricom.

A package including free-to-air TV stations and a data package of up to 6GB a month, as well as free YouTube viewing, will cost Sh4,999 initially followed by six Sh999 monthly instalments.

Alternatively, a one-off fee of Sh9,999 provides free-to-air TV access and up to 6GB in data bundles for a month as well as free YouTube streaming.
Safaricom will expand its 4G mobile network beyond Nairobi and Mombassa to another 13 towns and cities by the end of 2015, with Wi-Fi hotspots being placed in residential and commercial buildings via The Big Box, said Collymore.

To bolster its new STB, Safaricom is also seeking government approval for a digital broadcast licence.