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Safaricom chief Bob Collymore/FILE


Safaricom cautions over Internet slowdown

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 5 – Safaricom has announced a possible slowdown in its Internet speeds on Friday due to an emergency service scheduled by its main data cable carrier The East African Marine System (TEAMS).

Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore cautioned that some of their customers may experience slow Internet speeds as a result of the planned works from 10pm on Friday night through to 10am on Saturday.

“As TEAMS shareholders, we have been informed of the planned works. Mitigation measures will be put in place, but some customers may experience slow Internet speeds and some level of service degradation during this period,” said the CEO while conveying his apologies.

The mobile operator announced that during that 12 hour period the TEAMS submarine cable would not be available and it is anticipated that full recovery to the cable could be delayed.

Collymore however assured that Safaricom has adequate redundancy measures and would direct the affected traffic to satellite and other submarine cable systems.

He pledged that the firm was committed to ensuring that normal services resume immediately after the maintenance works.

The TEAMS submarine cable, which runs from the Kenyan coast of Mombasa to Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates, carries a significant proportion of Safaricom’s Internet and international voice traffic.

With a 20 percent stake, Safaricom is one of the four mobile operators that own the cable together with eight other telecoms companies plus the government all of which cumulatively hold an 85 percent stake. Dubai-based firm Etisalat owns the remaining 15 percent.

TEAMS landed in Kenya in June 2009 at a cost of $130 million equivalent at the time to Sh10.4 billion.

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It has since been instrumental in rejuvenating the country’s telecommunication sector by enhancing ICT uptake and in turn contributed to gradually transforming the country into a competitive, knowledge-based economy.

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