For the last few days, we have been hearing that Safaricom is planning to bring its own decoders to the market. Safaricom is keen to get into this market mainly to push its data products to the end consumer as its voice business sees slow growth. This will be a very efficient way for the company to get customers for its data products but we cannot say if it will be successful or not.
According to the Business Daily, Safaricom’s decoders will hit the market next month and will be 4G ready. Safaricom is said to be in talks with local free-to-air broadcasters to broadcast their content. Those who buy these decoders will have access to downloads and video-on-demand services. Safaricom will use this opportunity to sell both TV content and data as one package.
In an interview with business daily, Safaricom’s CEO Bob Collymore said, “It essentially gives you a wi-fi hotspot at home with 4G speeds. You’ll also pick up some local free-to-air stations and we are working with other partners to get more content on the box.”
Mr Collymore went ahead to say that each decoder will come preloaded with a SIM card, wi-fi router and data bundle. He did not give much information about these decoders or their prices which is something we will have to wait to know more at a later date.
Safaricom’s 4G network is currently available in Nairobi and Mombasa meaning that not all users will be able to enjoy the 4G speeds in the beginning. This may not be for long as Safaricom has plans to expand it 4G coverage to other regions in the country.