Safaricom has entered into a five year partnership with the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KETRACO) that will see the telco lease two of KETRACO’s fibres in each of the 47km 132kV Rabai–Galu and 320km 220kV Rabai–Malindi–Garsen–Lamu transmission lines. The move is aimed at bolstering Safaricom’s network in both North and South Coast regions.
In 2014, the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) granted KETRACO a Network Facility Provider Tier 2 (NFPT2) License, which allowed the power transmission company to lease out fibre to licensed Application and Content Service Providers as a way of diversifying the company’s revenue base. The partnership with Safaricom will thus offer it additional revenues. Safaricom on the other hand will have the capacity to deliver wholesale business especially once the Kshs. 1.5 trillion Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (LAPSET) project is completed.
The additional capacity will further complement Safaricom’s 2,000 kilometre fibre capacity, which the telco has managed to connect to more than 30% of its base stations. Currently, KETRACO is implementing various projects comprising of approximately 3,256km electricity transmission lines- with concurrent fibre connectivity. The major projects include the 400kV Mombasa- Nairobi, 220kV Olkaria- Suswa transmission lines. The company plans to extend the fiber network to the region besides linking the company’s fibre to the national fibre backbone thereby creating a resilient web with sufficient protection for service providers.