Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore has asserted that the telco will not shutdown the internet during the General Elections.

When asked earlier in the week when releasing the end of year results, he said they will not shutdown the network.

 


On 24th April, Safaricom experienced an outage that began at about 9.40 a.m. and persisted till 4.30 p.m. While the company has yet to explain the reason for the outage, it lost billions of shillings during the down time.

Safaricom has 27.7 million mobile subscribers representing 71.2 per cent of the market share who do more than just call and text on the carrier’s network. For instance, The regulator, Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) data shows that about Sh3.3 trillion moved through the M-Pesa platform in the year to December 2016. This translated to an average Sh9 billion per day or about Sh376.7 million every hour.

This financial year, the company projects to make sh200 billion revenue. This translates to sh23 million per hour through their calls, data, voice and phones among other ways they make money.

Safaricom is further estimated to have lost at least Sh2.6 billion M-Pesa transactions during the near seven-hour outage whose ripple effects on the economy are expected to be huge.

Speculation was rife that the outage was a dry run for the elections, allegations which Mr. Collymore disputed.

But from the loss in revenue to the outage, business sense could inform his remarks that they will not shutdown the network during the elections.

Previously, government officials, like the Cabinet Secretary for ICT Joe Mucheru and CA Director General Francis Wangusi have said that while it is not government’s policy to shutdown the internet, they could resort to it as the last action if the country experiences violence.