Wananchi launches triple-play, deploys WiMAX

9 Oct 2008

Kenyan ISP Wananchi, which recently acquired cable network operator Mitsumi TV, has launched what it claims to be Kenya’s first triple-play TV, broadband internet and telephony service under the Zuku brand, as it promised last month. The service, launched on Tuesday over fibre-optic infrastructure, is being offered under the country’s unified licensing scheme, and Wananchi has revealed plans to invest over USD100 million in building out its HFC network. The company, which previously focused on dial-up and corporate internet services under the Wananchi Online banner, is also planning to relaunch itself in the broadband internet market over a new WiMAX network. It has so far set up around 20 WiMAX base stations in Nairobi and Mombasa and plans to have rolled out at least 100 base stations by the end of November. The group is targeting coverage of 300,000 homes in Nairobi and 100,000 households in Mombasa. Wananchi has also taken a 10% stake in the TEAMS international undersea cable link which will boost internet connectivity in Kenya, and also intends to expand triple-play to Tanzania, where it has bought a broadband and VSAT provider in Dar es Salaam. The company has a new website dedicated to its triple-play offering, www.zuku.co.ke.

Kenya, Wananchi Group (Zuku)