Safaricom subscribers in Nairobi's Central Business District, Kileleshwa, Kilimani and Westlands will from next week access the internet at much faster speeds of 42 Mbps after a system upgrade. Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said this is just the initial roll out to areas that fall within the companies data belt which refers to an area which has high internet usage.
Collymore said modems to support the speeds will be available soon after the roll out. “At Safaricom, our aim is to ‘democratize’ the internet and bring it to as many Kenyans as possible,” said Collymore. He was speaking on the sidelines of a three day Connected Kenya Summit in Mombasa. Collymore said although 14 million out of a population of 40 million Kenyans have Internet access, this figure represented only 34 per cent of the population. “It is critical that this number increases because although it has barely been scratched, the mobile internet market is becoming important for the mobile telephony firms,” said Collymore. According to the Communication Commission of Kenya, Subscribers accessing internet through the mobile phones stood at 5.3 million last year, out of which Safaricom controlled 4.3 million.