In its half-year report released today, Safaricom announced its plans to provide 100% 4G network coverage across the country by the end of this year.
The telco, that is still celebrating its 20th anniversary will be doing this as part of a strategy to win even more subscribers. This comes as the company reported its KES 33.07 Bn half-year net income that was a 6% decline with service revenue hitting KES 118.41 billion. Voice service revenue dropped by 6.5% to KES 40.19 billion while M-PESA revenue dropped by 14.5% to KES 35.89bn.
All this was a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that had stunned the whole Kenyan economy since the first case in March.
The 100% 4G network coverage is definitely a welcome move at a time when smartphone and internet usage has grown at an incredible rate across Kenya.
“Our business has proved to be resilient despite tough operating conditions. There is no doubt that COVID-19 has dealt a huge blow to many people not just in Kenya, but across the globe. This has been a tough period for businesses—small and large alike—and our customers. We are committed to walk through this journey together,” noted Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa.
Despite the decline in profit, a number of services did see a spike in daily activity by the existing subscribers. M-PESA, for instance, saw a by 14.9% YoY (year-on-year) increase in the volume of transactions to 5.12 billion. Moile data also grew 14.1% YoY as many Kenyans sought to internet usage for daily communication.
The number of 4G devices using more than 1GB of data in Safaricom’s network also grew 60.6% YoY.
The new customer strategy also includes the launch of new services meant to make M-PESA services more efficient. This includes the Pochi La Biashara service that will allow customers to separate business and personal wallets.
“With the new business strategy and the renewed focus on the customer, Safaricom expects to build on this momentum that has been gained during the second quarter of the period under review,” states Safaricom in its report.