Safaricom to launch applications-store next month

Kenya’s giant telecommunication service provider Safaricom will unveil the application-store from next month in an effort targeted at promoting local software developers.

Just like other App Store such as Nokia’s Ovi Store, Google and Samsung Apps that exists in the country, Safaricom will deviate from their competitors and venture into local products.

Safaricom’s corporate affairs director Nzioka Waita said, “The platform would give developers the opportunity of reach out to local market to expose the local products towards the international market.”

The company is also working on efforts to strengthen its network coverage with close to KSh8 billion(about US$ 94.6 million) set aside for the 2,300-kilometre fiber-optic cable to boost the ever growing customer base.

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said that his company dependent on fibre-optic for voice and Internet services and would invest in it heavily to continue providing quality communication services to clients.

Collymore further said that in 2015, Safaricom would be hoping to extend its dominance up to 500 kilometres per year as a result of future demand for higher bandwidth.

Reports from the mobile phone operator indicates that 600 kilometres of fibre-optic have already been rolled out. The second phase of the project will start in November. The entire project is expected to be completed in 18 months.

CCK report released earlier this year shows Kenya’s mobile industry has 29 million subscribers with Safaricom dominating. This was an increase in the Internet usage by 69 percent to 6.5 million subscribers.

Safaricom has close to 19.1 million subscribers with close to 70 percent of Internet users as compared with other competitors in the market such as Airtel Kenya, Essar Yu and Orange Kenya.

The winner will walk away with KSh1-million (about US$12,000).

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