Friday, February 22, 2008

Michael Joseph and Safaricom congestion

The other day I was listening to Michael Joseph (MJ) Safaricom CEO talking about Safaricom's recent switch to better equipment to address the perenial congestion within the network.

Though I did not listen to the whole speech, he made an interesting observation that Nairobi CBD has the highest number of callers in the whole world. That could as well be true because many offices in London, New York and J'burg have land lines.

But the question is, if MJ knows this, why not invest in several base stations instead of only one. With the kind of profits Safaricom makes, I am sure that investment will be worth it.

It has been argued that Kenyans have peculiar calling habits and even when the network is congested, we still insist on sticking to the network even when the network gives almost zero call completion rate.

I have always wondered why interconnectivity between Celtel and Safaricom is so expensive. Forget about the 26% duty levied by the government, if i can call Safaricom to safaricom at shs 8 per minute, why do I have to pay shs 23 per minute to call Celtel?

Assuming that at shs 8 the network is making money, it means terminating a call to the other network is cheaper.

In other countries, interconnectivity is easier but it seems in Kenya the desire to outdo each other in profits outweighs the overall goal of ensuring access.

I wonder what CCK has to say in all this, or maybe they have done a study which is busy gathering dust somewhere.



jke said...

Is subdividing the CBD with more cells the solution to the congestion problem on Furahiday afternoons?

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