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Posta sets eyes on data market in turnaround strategy

BUSINESS
By - | July 19th 2012

By NJIRAINI MUCHIRA

A fierce battle is in the offing in the data market after the Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) said it plans to rollout wireless Internet services.

The parastatal, which has been struggling to remain afloat, said it would rollout wi-fi services to improve access to the Internet. Wi-fi is a popular technology that allows wireless exchange of data.  “We want every post office to have wi-fi services for Kenyans to access Internet services,” acting Postmaster-General Enock Kinara told The Standard. 

Kinara added that to access the service, Kenyans would pay a monthly fee of between Sh150 and Sh200 per month. PCK has over 700 outlets and intends to launch the service in Nairobi before rolling out to other parts of the country.  If implemented, the service will compete other Internet service providers and telecoms that have been turning to the data market to drive their  profitability in the wake of stiff competition in the voice market and cyber cafés.

Safaricom, Yu, Orange and Airtel have been banking on data to grow their sales.  According to a recent report by industry regulator Communications Commission of Kenya, only about 6.5 million Kenyans have access to Internet services compared to about 30 million Kenyans with access to mobile telephones.

 Kinara said PCK has presented the feasibility to the parent ministry for consideration. “We have presented the concept to the Ministry which will do a cabinet paper that we hope the cabinet will approve,” he said.

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