SAFARICOM PROFITS BETTER…..

Almost all the people I know in Kenya have Safaricom mobile phone number. Most of the guys I know queued for some hours with the intention of owning a piece of this cash cow. The smart ones bought the shares online.

With slightly over a third of the population of Kenya (according to Safaricom), being a subscriber of the company, its more than likely that many eyes and ears were attentive when my good friend Michael Joseph stepped forward to give this state of the company speech.

The firm reported pre-tax profits of 15.3bn shillings ($196m; £126m) for the year to the end of March, down from 19.9bn shillings a year earlier.

Total revenue rose 15% to 70.5bn shillings, but its average revenue per user dropped 23% to 475 shillings. The media reports went on to paint a rather gloomy outlook.

Hmmmm… is this really so? Let me be the first one to say that this ain’t so and there is lots of money to be made in Africa’s telecom biashara (Swahili for business).

Let me remind you what I said back then (not sure when) that the ARPU of all the networks were going to get a hit if all they thought of is how we like talking and this may translate into longer talking.

Well the good news is that most of the users have been graduating fast from tech-stylists to now influential technology leaders. The number of curious innovations that are taking place in the back alleys of Nairobi, small rooms in the many estates is amazing.

Apparently someone leaked the notion to many users in the continent that; since now can be found by pressing the green key, the next thing on you mind should be ‘should I have something cool to say or something to sell’.
More dudes are thinking more of the latter.

Unlike in the western world the mobile phone in Africa is more a necessity. And it’s from this very indispensable device that we are seeing the possibility of bridging the many divides that are in this continent.

Mobile money transfer is such a scenario. Such services will definitely rake in revenues for the mobile networks. Probably the next thing is introducing the Internet.

It would be interesting to see if Kenyans will carry over their peculiar calling behavior into the World Wide Web.

The Communication Commission of Kenya has between 2 to 3 million Kenyans as users of the Internet.

3 out of every 5 Africans will get to know the Internet just from the palm of their hands and that is a huge statistic to think about. Now imagine what will happen if just half of the current mobile phone subscribers were to start being users of the net.

This region is set to experience average growths of 30% over the next four to seven years. And expanding networks with new products will undoubtedly bring in the dow.

MJ seems to be doing that as Safaricom looks for about 9 billion from the money markets. June is next week and cables should be finalizing for initial test runs.

If you are in telecoms, take a day off and visit your likely users in the back alleys and sprawling city estates, they may surprise you on what they do with your product.

I was surprised with what I saw my Nokia could do very surprised. To me the Safaricom profits were better than I expected

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