Broadband connectivity in Kenya is still poor due to poor business infrastructure amid the economy growth expectations of 15 per cent in Africa, according to the connectivity score card by the Nokia Siemens Networks(NSN).
During a press breakfast at a Nairobi hotel, NSN’s Communications and Marketing Manager, Abdalla Harati, said that poor infrastructure has been as a result of sharing the resource among the subscribers in Kenya and challenges that face human capital with the few ICT innovations.
“ Kenya’s low score of 0.95 typifies the problem that many African and South Asian countries face. Despite adequate mobile penetration and few examples of ICT innovation, these countries have daunting development challenges in the area of human capital,” said Harati
With a Human Development index ranking of 128, Kenya is ranked the 24th among the efficiency driven economies lagging at the bottom with India, Nigeria and Pakistan, the poorest performers according to the index.
While noting that the time taken by the subscribers to receive the bandwidth has been increasing over the years Harati said that by 2015 broadband users will outwit the network subscribers by 50 per cent.
“It took 38 years to reach 50 million users,13 years for TV, 4 years for internet, 3years for ipod to reach the same users. Face book added over 200 million users in less than a year. We expect the broadband users to outwit their network counterparts by 50 per cent by 2015,” he said.
Harati also noted that internet services are usually used at home more than is used in businesses with the highest percentage in the UK and Singapore. In these areas also 65 per cent have a fixed broadband.
He said: “Respondents with internet through mobile phone networks is emerging though we don’t have the real figures in Kenya, vast use of the service is experienced in Indonesia, Brazil, China, Russia, Romania with South Africa being the only African country with 88 per cent using the network to browse and read sms.”
He pointed out that fixed internet behavior is a predictor for the mobile internet behavior as the index revealed that in each of the top ten websites consumers subscribes to either on the mobile website or in the fixed web eight were similar, however many mobile web subscribers will use social sites as compared to information sites.
Despite the challenges of infrastructure the report revealed that Kenya has a room for increasing competition in the telecommunication market as the DSL services are still under monopoly as compared to other sectors which have seen significant liberalization.
“The mobile sector in Kenya can also play a critical role in the development of broadband development due to the cost effectiveness in accessing the service as compared to those in fixed line where a personal computer is needed,” said the Nokia Siemens Network Africa Manager.
In November last year the CCK announced that Telkom Kenya Orange had been granted a 3G licence, which will add extra pressure to market leader ,Safaricom.