Thursday, August 13, 2009

Safaricom To Acquire Local WiMAX Operator

­Kenya's Safaricom says that it has signed an agreement to buy local WiMAX operator, Packet Stream Data Networks for an undisclosed amount. The intended acquisition comes on the back of Safaricom's recent appointment of Jamii Telecommunications as its preferred partner in the rollout of it optical fibre network.
Last year, Safaricom acquired a controlling stake in fixed broadband provider One Communications Limited and has since moved to consolidate its presence in the data market by acquiring an anchor 22.5 per cent stake in the TEAMS submarine optical fibre cable, besides buying significant capacity on Seacom, the other undersea cable venture.
Speaking at the signing of the agreement at Safaricom House, Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph said: "This acquisition is very strategic to Safaricom as it will serve to widen our already growing WiMAX footprint and enable us achieve our goal of providing our customers with a ubiquitous data network over a multiplicity of technology platforms."
Mr. Joseph added: "The move to acquire Packet Stream has in large part been facilitated by the positive changes to the regulatory environment which now allow Safaricom to enjoy the benefits of its newly acquired Unified License."
While commenting on the intended takeover, Packet Stream Director Edwin Wambugu indicated that his company had already deployed its WiMAX resources in various towns around the country and that Safaricom would be in pole position to build on the already established infrastructure.
The completion of the agreement is subject to the company receiving formal approval from both the Communications Commission of Kenya and the Monopolies Commission.

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