Kenyan telecoms firm Safaricom has selected Alepo Technologies to provide an integrated business support system (BSS) and open source software (OSS) solution for its growing WiMAX network. The robust solution will allow Safaricom to maintain high network security and optimise resources. Further, Alepo will integrate Safaricom’s existing customer relationship management (CRM) system, allowing the country’s largest mobile operator by subscribers to manage both GSM and WiMAX subscriber accounts from one centralised interface. Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore commented: ‘The implementation of Alepo’s core network elements will afford Safaricom greater control over network policy, security and resource allocation, while achieving more flexibility in designing WiMAX and Wi-Fi service offerings for our customers, residential and commercial’.
According to TeleGeography’s Global Comms Database, in August 2008 Safaricom purchased a 51% stake in WiMAX provider One Communications for USD2.6 million. This was followed in August 2009, with a 100% acquisition of wireless internet provider Packet Stream Data Networks. In October 2010 the firm’s WiMAX network was augmented further when Safaricom was authorised to acquire IGO Wireless. The acquisition meant that of the eight companies that were awarded WiMAX frequencies, Safaricom now owns three of them. Following the transaction, then-CEO Michael Joseph suggested that Safaricom was keen to secure additional WiMAX frequencies in order to maximise its data business.
In a separate interview, with MyBroadband.co.za, new Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore shed more light on the telco’s broadband aspirations. Quizzed on the subject of triple-play, Collymore admitted: ‘It’s on the radar. It’s inevitable we’ll have to do it as it’s what the customers want’. However, with regards to rolling out an independent fibre optic network, Collymore conceded: ‘It’s too late to do it. We should have done it five years ago. It’s currently not very reliable. There were disruptive fibre cuts when we announced our half year results and the timing of these cuts was suspicious. We’ve built solid, interdependent relationships with Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC), Telkom Kenya and Jamii Telecommunications Ltd (JTL), and are getting competitive pricing’.