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Greater IT access with triple play

NAIROBI, October 7- Kenyans will now be able to have access to cable television, broadband internet and voice services all in one delivery system, following the launch of a triple play brand into the market.

The brand dubbed “Zuku” which was introduced by telecommunication provider Wananchi Group on Tuesday will be delivered through the fibre optic cable technology, which has more capacity and is more stable than satellite or mobile phone wireless technology.

“Zuku as a triple play product represents the first time that a Kenyan company has truly offered convergence,”the Group’s Chief Executive Officer Euan Fannell beamed adding that the pay TV has over 90 channels with an additional 53 in the offing. He however said they were finalising the infrastructure needed to support the voice services and would be launching it in a few months time.

Mr Fannell said that they had priced their packages attractively in order to reach majority of the under-served people in the mass market. Prices for the cable TV for example will range at between Sh900 and Sh3,499 while will 256 kilobyte per second (kbps) broadband will retail for Sh2,999 and one megabyte per second service will be Sh9,999.

“We are not trying to compete with the other players in the market. We are specifically targeting the masses. These are the people who are in multi dwelling units and those with a disposable income of about Sh300 for entertainment,” he explained.

The company’s Chief Operating Officer Suhayl Esmailjee revealed that they planned to roll out 100 WiMax base stations in Nairobi and Mombasa before the end of the year to enhance internet connectivity for both the residential areas and businesses.

“Our aim is to cover up to 300,000 homes in Nairobi and Mombasa by mid 2009,” he added.

He said all these investments had been made through the Africa Technology Media and Telecoms (ATMT) Fund, which has invested close to Sh5.1billion (US$ 70million) in the group.

Mr Esmailjee added that the arrival of The East African Marines System (TEAMS) cable where the company through the ATMT Fund owns 10 percent of the cable would help to significantly bring down the bandwidth costs and revolutionize Internet speeds.

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