Thursday, May 8, 2008

KDN to offer Free Internet!

Yesterday, I attended a talk given by Kai Wulff, CEO -Kenya Data Networks, organised by the Engineering students Association at UoN. Yes, the reigning two-time ICT CEO of the year, for the rest of us who don't know. So what did the tough-talking, average build, german-born have to say?

According to Mr. Wulff, if you want to take over Safaricom's business hands-down (as KDN did Telkom Kenya), you have to be ahead of the 'Hype Cycle'. This he described as a recurring phenomena, specific, but not exclusive to technology. Every major new technology has a hype created around it and being hype,its benefits are often greatly exaggerated in anticipation.

For his case, take Wi-Max compared to Land-laid Fibre which is more feasible in Kenya(Nation-wide) for the fore-seeable future. When KDN laid their Cable in Kenya other companies concentrated on rolling out new-tech wi-fi et al in urban areas, taking for granted the wider customer base and opportunities of service to the rest of Kenya. Now they (FON .ie GoK) including telkom Kenya are struggling to play catch-up while KDN ponder free internet for all. KDN is even planning to implement micro-power-grid systems in less urban areas plus have ATM Network Backbones, etc

KDN's popular individual-customer services are Butterfly Wi-Fi (Ksh.2900/-p.m.) and DSL* (4400/-p.m.) for unlimited internet access. Since there are no incremental costs to the company for access, this pricing system is thus unnecessary and illogical. If a shift from the traditional business model occurs, Internet connection, like free-to-air tv should be free. KDN is planning to pioneer this shift.

*Subject to confirmation

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