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Safaricom acquires Packet Data Networks

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 13 – Listed telecoms operator Safaricom on Thursday signed a Share Purchase Agreement to acquire ownership of Packet Stream Data Networks Limited.

The completion of the agreement is subject to the company receiving formal approval from both the Communications Commission of Kenya and the Monopolies Commission.

Incorporated in 2003, Packet Stream Data Networks Limited is a wholly-owned Kenyan company licensed to provide various data communication services including fixed WiMAX access services.

Speaking at the signing of the agreement at Safaricom House, Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph said: “This acquisition is very strategic to Safaricom as it will serve to widen our already growing WiMAX footprint and enable us achieve our goal of providing our customers with a ubiquitous data network over a multiplicity of technology platforms.”

He said the acquisition was key to the growth of Safaricom’s corporate clientele which demanded a robust and reliable all round fixed broadband service.

“The move to acquire Packet Stream has in large part been facilitated by the positive changes to the regulatory environment which now allow Safaricom to enjoy the benefits of its newly acquired Unified Licence,” Mr Joseph said.

Packet Stream Director Edwin Wambugu said his company had already deployed its WiMAX resources in various towns around the country and that Safaricom would be in pole position to build on the already established infrastructure.

The intended acquisition comes on the back of Safaricom’s recent appointment of Jamii Telecommunications Limited as its preferred partner in the rollout of its optical fibre network. 

“The Packet Stream deal will be a natural compliment to our relationship with Jamii as it will allow us to now offer a hybrid of last mile connectivity solutions tailored to the needs of our customers. We are the only telecommunications company in Kenya which can today offer to Kenyans broadband services on 3G, WiMAX and fibre,” Mr Joseph said.

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Last year, Safaricom acquired a controlling stake in fixed broadband provider One Communications Limited and has since moved to consolidate its presence in the data market by acquiring an anchor 22.5 percent stake in the TEAMS submarine optical fibre cable, besides buying significant capacity on Seacom, the other undersea cable venture.

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